New Delhi, Aug 16: The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the city government on a PIL challenging the government decision to hike circle rates for immovable properties. A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw sought responses from the lieutenant governor and civic bodies on a plea challenging the Delhi Stamp (Prevention of Under-Valuation of Instruments) Rules, 2007 and the revision of circle rates in 2011 and 2012.

The PIL, filed through senior advocate Ravi Gupta and advocate Anirudh Wadhwa, argued that the circle rate policy was ‘arbitrary, unreasonable and illegal’ as it prejudices an individual who owns or is looking to acquire immovable property in Delhi.

It contended that in certain pockets of Delhi, the circle rate was unreasonably higher than the market value. In such cases, parties transacting in immovable properties are helpless and constrained to pay stamp duty on higher circle rate value of the property.

“The imposition of stamp duty as well as transfer duty based on circle rates is thus, arbitrary, unreasonable and clearly illegal and is significantly prejudicing each and every person in Delhi who has/is looking to get immovable property,” the plea said.