The Delhi High Court in the Public Interest Litigation called Suraj Prakash Manchanda v. Government of NCT of Delhi on November 27, 2019 held that the fixing of circle rates of immovable property is a policy making decision which is undertaken by the Government and the Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, has no authority to interfere with this decision.
The Division Bench comprising of the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, D.N Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar held that the fixing of circle rates is a complicated and long process which cannot be hurriedly taken by the Government as per the orders of the Court.
The main plea of the petitioner was that reasonable rates should be fixed for built up flats and other immovable property which should align with the category of the colony and the area in which the property is situated.
He also asked the court to set up a permanent committee that should be entrusted with the work of valuation of the property that should be in line with the current market value of the concerned properties. This would prevent undervaluation or overvaluation of the properties. The court observed that the Government of Delhi already had a committee in place to look into the matter and the petition was dismissed.
In this regard, the court held that, “the fixing of the circle rate depends on varieties of factors. After several discussions and deliberations, such type of circle rates ought to be fixed. It happens sometimes that the respondent-Government may constitute committee/committees to arrive at correct circle rate because circle rate has direct nexus with the market value, with the stamp duty and slight error in the circle rate may generate several litigations before varieties of Authorities and Courts.
The circle rates cannot be fixed so hurriedly and therefore, we see no reason to give any direction or to issue any writ upon respondent much less the writ of mandamus to hurriedly finalize the circle rates more so when the respondent has already constituted a committee of experts and they are working for the finalization of the circle rates.”