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HC issues notice to Delhi Govt and Jal Board on petition challenging Infrastructure Charge

ANI | Updated: Jul 22, 2021 15:30 IST

New Delhi [India], July 22 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to Delhi Govt and Delhi Jal Board on a petition challenging the decision of the Jal Board and Delhi Govt to revive the levy of Infrastructure Charge.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti asked Delhi Government and Delhi Jal Board to file a reply on a petition.
The petition was filed by Ajit Singh Ahluwalia.

In the petition, Ahluwalia told the court that in November 2019, respondent Delhi Govt had publicly revived the levy of 'Infrastructure Charge' by way of several public announcements. Thereafter the respondent Delhi Jal Board has now chosen to re-introduce the same charges, though an arbitrary and wholly illegal rate on the basis of which is wholly unknown through a bland and unreasoned resolution, the petition said.
In pursuance of the said resolution respondent DJB proceeded to issue
notification dated October 6, 2020, and following clarificatory circulars/notifications dated 22.01.2021, 24.02.2021, and 11.05.2021 enhancing and imposing an unreasonable and baseless charge/cess/penalty/tax/fee, beyond its competence by increasing the contribution by homeowners of plot sizes larger than 200 sq. mts., manifold on such plots itself for no more than merely granting paper permission for water connection, in a newly constructed plot under the guise of 'Infrastructure Charges'.
"That in terms of the Delhi Water & Sewer (Tariff and Metering) Regulations, 2012 there ought to be a direct nexus between the 'infrastructure charges levied' and 'usage' is also the same for any owner of a plot size of 200 Sq. Mts.
However, contrary to the said provisions, the present levy under the impugned notifications is wholly at the sole discretion, whim, and fancy of the officials of respondent No.1 (DJB). No formula for such calculation or basis thereof has ever been set out empowering levy of exorbitant and further wholly arbitrary charges based solely upon the whim and fancy of the officials of Respondent No.1 (DJB)," the petition said. (ANI)