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Tax defaulters may find
March, 17th 2009

The citys civic body can disconnect water supply to premises to recover unrealised taxes, the Calcutta High Court today observed.

That water supply is an essential service cannot be used as a pretext to prevent disconnection of supply lines if a consumer defaults on his tax payment, a division Bench comprising Justices Mr Asim Banerjee and Mr Prasenjit Mondal stated in its order.

In 2001, when the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had been disconnecting water lines of properties including some big hotels and other companies for tax default, a firm, Nilambar Finvest Company, had moved the High Court saying that the Corporation could not do it as water supply was an essential service.

As per KMC Act 275(i)(aa), it can disconnect water supply in case of tax default, KMC lawyer Ashok Das Adhikari had claimed. However in 2002, Justice Mr Bhaskar Bhattacharya had declared the provision unconstitutional. Challenging the order, KMC moved the division bench of the court. The bench today set aside the 2002 judgement ordering that the civic body could apply the provision to recover tax from defaulters.

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