In the case of Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) v. SDMC and Ors
, the Delhi High Court issued a notice on 7th October, Wednesday with respect to the Delhi High Court Bar Association’s petition against the classification of their law offices as “commercial activity” for the purposes of calculation and collection of their property taxes under the Delhi Municipal Act.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan heard the case and a notice to North Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, and South Delhi Municipal Corporation was issued by the bench. The petition of DHCBA was seeking for offices of the lawyers should be considered under the category “for a residential and public purpose”. The petition of DHCBA was filed by the Advocate Nikhil Mehta and the senior Advocate Sudhanshu Batra represented on behalf of the Bar Association. DHCBA has also averred that the classification of law offices as the commercial establishment is completely incoherent and falls in violation of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution of India.
The petitioner has further pleaded that while treating their law offices as commercial units, the Assessing Authorities have also ignored the legislation stated by the Supreme Court with regard to the profession of advocates as not being a “commercial enterprise, industrial, mercantile, shop or business venture.” Thus, the notices were sent to the various Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the case is scheduled for its next hearing on 20th November 2020.