Thursday, June 16, 2011

High court dismisses petition challenging legality of jantri

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has dismissed a petition that termed jantri — the Final Annual Statement of Rates of 2008 — as unscientific and challenged its usage to determine market rates of property in Gujarat.

The jantri was challenged by many, including the Kutch Construction Industries and Rehabilitation Federation. The petitioners had demanded that the jantri of the Bhuj block be cancelled. The petitioners claimed that to prepare jantri under provisions of Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 and Bombay Stamp (Determination of Market Value of Property) Rules, 1984, is a violation on part of the state government of various articles of the constitution.

The petitioners claimed that jantri acts like a readyreckoner and is not prepared on the basis of any scientific method but on random survey. It was also contended that the state government did not grant enough time and means for the people to raise objection to the jantri that came into being in 2008. However, one more jantri was also made effective after this by the state government earlier this year.

Advocate general Kamal Trivedi opposed this petition by stating that no person is compelled to pay market value simply on the basis of jantri.

He contended that preparation of jantri is based on proper survey, calculation and verification of various records by the authorities in a scientific manner. He also cited an order by a full bench of the high court holding that the procedure of preparing jantri is scientific, reasonable and cannot be termed as irrational by any standard.

After hearing the arguments, justice A S Dave rejected the petition. The court also did not accept the contention of petitioner that authorities did not give enough scope to people to object to formation of jantri. The court observed that it was published in leading dailies and also displayed at various government offices along with website.

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