ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday set aside a 200 per cent increase in property tax by the Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) in the federal capital. 

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani announced his reserved verdict in the petitions challenging the hefty increase in property tax by the MCI and directed the MCI to levy property tax as per pervious rates. 

The IHC bench also restrained the Capital Development Authority (CDA) from charging the tax and ruled that the authority to collect property tax is vested with the MCI instead of CDA.

The bench further ordered an audit into property tax collected by the CDA after 2015 and directed it to deposit the amount it had collected under the head of property tax into the local government fund. 

In this matter, Naib Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Mian Muhammad Aslam moved the court through his counsel Zulfiqar Ali Abbasi Advocate and cited the federal government, Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Revenue Directorate CDA as respondents.

He adopted in his petition that MCI had made a 200 per cent increase in property tax in Islamabad while misusing its powers and prayed the court to set aside the decision of MCI regarding increase in property tax.

He stated that the respondents issued demand notice for the payment of property tax in regard to a house of the petitioner wherein, the respondents demanded an exaggerated/ excessive property of Rs279, 644 which is about 200 times than the property tax levied by the respondents in the last year.

Petitioner maintained that the said demand notice has been issued by the respondents illegally, unlawfully, without any justification and demanded an exaggerated and excessive amount on account of property tax from the petitioner.

According to the petition, “The respondents have burdened the petitioner while imposing such about 200 times excessive property tax upon the petitioner and that too is without any justification and prior intimation.”

He argued, “ The acts and conducts of the respondents by issuing the impugned demand notice are violative of the Article 9, 4, 10-A, 22, 23 and 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan.”

Therefore, he prayed to the court that the said demand notice may be set aside being illegal, unlawful, unjustifiable and excessive than the actual payable/ livable property tax and the same is arbitrary, discriminatory to the extent of the petitioner as well as people of Islamabad.

He also requested the court to issue directions to the respondents to correct the petitioner’s property tax demand notice and issue afresh correct demand notice of property to the petitioner.