The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed the Chandigarh Golf Club to deposit Rs 20 lakh to the Chandigarh administration within two weeks and to continue with the meetings to resolve the lease issue of its 132 acres of land amicably.
The division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain passed the orders during the resumed hearing of the Golf Club's petition challenging the UT administration's decision of enhancing its lease amount enormously and charging Rs 9.27 crore as rent, including interest, for five years (March 2008- 2013).
As per the earlier lease, which was for 20 years (1988 to 2008), the annual lease amount of the club, established on August 25, 1966, was Rs 1 lakh. However, after the revision of the lease amount, it reached up to Rs 1.61 crore annually.
During the arguments, the Chandigarh administration's counsel informed the bench that though the meetings were being held between the administration and the club authorities, it would take some time to resolve the issue.
The counsel also argued that the Golf Club, in the meanwhile, should be directed to at least deposit the amount according to its earlier yearly lease amount.
The club had also made a request to extend its lease either in terms of the draft lease proposed by the administration on December 2, 2009, (Rs 10 lakh per year), or on similar terms to that of the Delhi Golf Club (Rs 6 lakh annually).
The orders under challenge by the club were issued by the UT finance secretary on November 15, 2012, and by the estate officer on November 16, 2012.
In the letters, the club was asked to deposit Rs 9.27 crore by January 16, 2012. The lease period was proposed for five years only, annual enhancement of 7% rent and the lease was to be effective from March 16, 2008. The court will now hear the case on February 13.