Courts can`t enforce statements made in Parl: HC

Courts cannot pass directions for enforcement of statements made by lawmakers in Parliament or State Assemblies, the Delhi High Court has said.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2011, 18:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Courts cannot pass directions for
enforcement of statements made by lawmakers in Parliament or
State Assemblies, the Delhi High Court has said.

The verdict ruled out the plea of a Delhi resident
seeking a cut in stamp duty on property transfer on the basis
of statements made by the Finance Minister of Government of
National Capital Territory (GNCT) in the Budget speech for the
year 2003-2004.
The identical promise was made by the then Union Minister
for Urban Affairs in Parliament that stamp duty on transfer,
sale and purchase of immovable properties shall be reduced.

Justice S Muralidhar rejected the plea saying courts
cannot enforce statements made in Assembly or Parliament
unless a statutory provision or notification is issued for the
same.

"The prayer of petitioner that this Court should issue a
mandamus to the GNCTD and the Government of India to enforce a
statement made by the Finance Minister of GNCTD to the State
Legislative Assemble in 2003-04 followed by the statement made
in the Parliament by the Union Minister for Urban Affairs is
plainly misconceived.

"These are matters of policy and as rightly pointed out
by learned counsel for the respondent MCD that a court cannot
issue a mandamus in that regard unless there is a statutory
provision or a statutory notification to that effect," the
court said while upholding a higher stamp duty on property
transfer in NDMC areas than in MCD areas.
Maya Daryani had sought transfer duty on immovable
property to be reduced from five per cent to three per cent in
NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) areas, as done in MCD
(Municipal Corporation of Delhi) areas.

She had informed the court that at that stage, 13 per
cent duties were being charged split into two parts -- eight
per cent on the transfer consideration payable to the GNCTD
and transfer duty/corporation tax of five percent payable to
the MCD or NDMC.

After the announcement the transfer duty of five per cent
was reduced to three per cent in MCD areas, the court was
told.

The court rubbished the petitioners argument that levy of
transfer duty of five per cent in the NDMC areas while three
per cent for the MCD area was "arbitrary and discriminatory"
and this was violative of Article 14 (Right to equality) of
the Constitution.

"There is no arbitrariness in the NDMC charging five
percent as stamp duty on immovable properties situated in the
NDMC areas whereas the MCD is charging three percent transfer
duty. Not all the localities in Delhi or New Delhi have
similar features," the court said.

It added that "mere geographical location of properties
being in the same city would not render the differential
transfer duty and irrational, arbitrarily or discrimination
within the meaning of Article 14 of the Constitution of
India".

PTI