GST, Income Tax Payers cannot be treated as Slum Dwellers: Allahabad HC

Allahabad High Court observed that, GST, Income Taxpayers cannot be treated as slum dwellers, while dismissing a petition
GST - Income Tax Payers - Slum Dwellers - Allahabad HC - taxscan

Recently, the Allahabad High Court, asserted that individuals owning multi-storey constructions, commercial properties, and business establishments, along with those who file GST and income tax returns, cannot be classified as slum dwellers merely based on residing in houses built on government land, while rejecting a petition for retention of properties.

The court’s dismissal of petitions seeking the retention of properties along the Kukrail River in the Akbar Nagar area has paved the way for the Lucknow Development Authority ( LDA ) to proceed with the demolition of houses owned by the petitioners.

The Division Bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary and Justice O.P. Shukla clarified that, The petitioners do not face the challenges experienced by actual slum dwellers. In these circumstances, it is not tenable for this court to label the showrooms/workshops of petitioners as existing in a slum area.

The bench further stated that, At best, the petitioners reside at the edge of the Akbar Nagar slum area and not within the said slum area. Despite the argument that they have spent money on illegal constructions of showrooms/workshops, pay GST, file income tax returns, and own residences in affluent localities or other properties, we cannot categorize them as slum dwellers.

During the hearing, the bench had separated the cases of these affluent petitioners from those of poor slum dwellers.

Rejecting the petitioners’ argument that residing in the Akbar Nagar area automatically classifies them as slum dwellers, the bench remarked that – Can a businessman, operating within a slum and undertaking large-scale construction projects without the required sanctions, claim to be a slum dweller entitled to the protection given to dingy houses of actual slum dwellers? The resounding answer ‘no’ echoes in this case.

This decision highlights the distinction between individuals with substantial properties, business establishments, and legal compliance in Akbar Nagar and the challenges faced by genuine slum dwellers, providing clarity on their legal standing in the ongoing matter.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Taxscan premium. Follow us on Telegram for quick updates