CIC - Commissioner, DMC to take cognizance of delay in property tax entry
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) seeking details of the posting of realization in the Ledger Accounts of Tax Payer (Property Tax). The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided part information to the appellant.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that there is usually a huge time gap between the payment of property tax and its entry in the ledger account and sometimes as long as over four years. He also stated that neither superior officer regularly monitors the timely and accurate entry of the tax realization in the ledger nor are the entries in the ledger tallied with the cash book through which receipts for property tax are issued. The respondent stated that he has taken over charge recently and can provide information for the year 2012 – 2013 onwards and that he has personally addressed the issue. The respondent further stated that as the appellant has not sought information in respect of a particular property, he is unable to provide information in response to a general and wide query. The appellant stated that through his RTI application, he is addressing a larger malaise/ lacuna in the existing system. He submitted that it was not uncommon for individuals to approach the property tax department and have large number of entries made in the ledger account on the basis of receipts held by them on a single day. Such a practice could result in entries being made in the ledger account on the basis of unverified receipts resulting in huge losses to the exchequer.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the issue highlighted through the RTI application is a matter of larger public interest which warrants information to be provided even if it is to be collected from several sources/ files. The CIC directed the PIO to provide information to the appellant regarding property tax entries made in the ledger account and tallied with the entries in the cash book for the certain period. The CIC also directed the PIO to provide the information where such entries had not been made even though the cash book shows receipt issued against property tax paid.The Commission further directed the Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation to take cognizance of this matter and take necessary corrective action by issuing suitable directives to the concerned officials. The Commission held that this recommendation is made in the spirit of the preamble of the RTI Act which supports the efficient operation of the Governments along with optimum use of limited financial resources.
The situation remains more or less the same in the rest of the cities of the country. Can the property tax payment not be made online?
Citation: Mr. K.C. Garg v. North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002212
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1349
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission