The Delhi High Court today issued notice in Delhi High Court Bar Association’s petition against the classification of law offices as “commercial activity” for the purposes of calculation of property tax under Delhi Municipal Act in the case of DHCBA v. SDMC & Ors.
Notice to North Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation was issued by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.
The petition is filed through Advocate Nikhil Mehta. Senior Advocate Sudhanshu Batra appeared for DHCBA. It is DHCBA’s case that the offices of lawyers should be treated under the category “for residential purpose and public purpose”. DHCBA has asserted that classification of law offices as commercial establishment is unintelligible and falls foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
It is also pleaded that while treating law offices as commercial units, the Assessing Authorities have also ignored the law laid by the Supreme Court regarding the profession of advocates not being a “commercial enterprise, industrial, mercantile, shop or business venture“.
The matter would be heard next on November 20.