The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is not a part of the Central government and it cannot be absolved from the requirement of paying urban land tax, the Madras High Court has said.
AAI cannot be construed as 'Central Government' within the meaning of exemption clause as contemplated under section 29 (a) of the Tamil Nadu Urban Land Tax Act, 1966 and consequently, the State government is empowered to levy the Urban Land Tax, Justice S M Suhbramaniayam said.
The judge was dismissing a batch of writ petitions from the AAI recently challenging the levy of tax by the State government for its properties on the outskirts of the city. The petitioner is liable to pay the said tax as applicable and in this view of the matter, all the writ petitions fail and stand dismissed, the judge said.
Earlier, AAI counsel submitted it is a statutory organisation functioning under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. It was managing the civil airports and civil enclaves at defence airports across the country. It holds certain lands in the surrounding villages of Chennai and they were exempted from paying the tax.
There is no infirmity or perversity in respect of the orders impugned in the order passed by the State government, the judge said and dismissed the petitions after holding that the AAI is liable to pay the Urban Land Tax as applicable.
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