New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday sought response from the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking quashing of its notification increasing circle rates of agricultural land. The plea was moved before the court by city Congress leader Naresh Kumar.

In a 4 August notification, the Delhi government announced a three-fold increase in the circle rates of agricultural land.

A bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath raised questions pertaining to the requirement of the signature of the Lt. Governor to a notification issued in his name.

They were informed by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, representing the Delhi government, that as per the procedure laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Transaction of Business Rules, a notification issued in the name of the Lt. Governor does not have be signed by him.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the notification seeking enhancement of circle rates was discriminatory and any action taken with regard to it will not be in “confirmity with the rule of law".

The plea sought adoption of uniform rates for agricultural land in the city by the Delhi government, instead of fixing rates as per location.

It said the government did not have the competence to issue such a notification and it was the Lt. Governor who possessed the authority to do so.

The court directed the Delhi government to file an affidavit regarding the issue within two weeks and set the next date of hearing on 23 September.

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