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Mistake Could've Been Avoided, Says Rajinikanth as Madras HC Dismisses Plea Over Property Tax Demand

Rajinikanth stated that he had sent a notice to the city corporation on September 23 seeking vacancy remission under Section 105 of the act but did not receive a reply from the civic body. (Image PTI)

Rajinikanth stated that he had sent a notice to the city corporation on September 23 seeking vacancy remission under Section 105 of the act but did not receive a reply from the civic body. (Image PTI)

Rajinikanth had moved the the high court against a property tax demand of Rs 6.50 lakh by the city corporation on his marriage hall, Raghavendra Mandapam, in Chennai.

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Poornima Murali

Day after Madras High Court dismissed a writ petition filed by top actor Rajinikanth over a property tax demand on his marriage hall, the actor said that his decision to litigate against the tax demand was, in hindsight, an avoidable move that could have been dealt with an appeal to the city corporation instead of going to court. "...should’ve appealed with the Corporation. Could’ve have been avoided. Experience is the best lesson...," the 69-year-old actor said in a tweet on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Rajinikanth had moved the the high court against a property tax demand of Rs 6.50 lakh by the city corporation on the wedding hall, Raghavendra Mandapam, owned by him in Chennai. Since the property remained closed since March 24 this year in view of the Covid-19 lockdown and after, the actor argued that he was eligible for vacancy remission on its property tax.

In his petition, the actor stated that he had sent a notice to the city corporation on September 23 seeking vacancy remission under Section 105 of the act but did not receive a reply from the civic body. The petition stated that there has been a tax demand for the period between April and September this year, the period during which he had not conducted any business at the hall.

"It is submitted that Sec 105(1) of the Chennai Municipal Corporation Act 1919, states that any building whether ordinarily let or occupied by the owner himself has been vacant and unlet for thirty or more consecutive days in any half-year, the commissioner shall remit so much, not exceeding one half of such portion of the tax as relates to the building only as if proportionate to the number of days during which building was vacant and unlet in the half year," stated the actor's writ petition.

The actor therefore sought an interim injunction restraining respondents, the Chennai City Commissioner and the revenue officer, from proceeding with executing a two per cent penalty on the property tax before his notice was adjudicated upon. The corporation warned of court action if the penalty amount was not paid October 15, stated the petition.

While hearing the case on Wednesday, Madras High Court Justice Anitha Sumanth asked the actor's counsel why they were wasting the court's time and warned them of imposing costs on the actor for approaching the court soon after sending a notice to the civic body for relief under vacancy remission.


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