AHMEDABAD MUNICIPAL CORPORATION Vs GTL INFRASTRUCTURE LTD
Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 – Section 145A - Constitutional validity of the levy of property tax on “mobile towers” - expressions “building”, “land” and “mobile tower” – whether mobile towers come within the fold of ‘land and building’ appearing in Entry 49 List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution
HELD – The regulatory power of the Corporations, Municipalities and Panchyats in the matter of installation, location and operation of ‘Mobile Towers’ even before the specific incorporation of Mobile Towers in the Gujarat Act by the 2011 amendment and such control under the Bombay Act at all points of time accord a reasonable extension of such power and control by understanding the power of taxation on ‘Mobile Towers’ to be vested in the State Legislature under Entry 49 of List II of the Seventh Schedule.
The tax is imposed on the “person engaged in providing telecommunication services through such mobile towers” merely indicates that it is the occupier and not the owner of the land and building who is liable to pay the tax.
Such a liability to pay the tax by the occupier instead of the owner is an accepted facet of the tax payable on land and building under Entry 49 List II of the Seventh Schedule – in favour of State