The Supreme Court has declined to grant any immediate relief to the South Delhi Club that was to pack up on Tuesday in accordance with a Delhi High Court judgement.
Refusing to stay the implementation of the High Court eviction order against the 44-year-old club, a bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan scheduled the hearing of an appeal by club members on April 9.
Through a special leave petition, the members have challenged the January 2009 HC judgement turning down the club’s plea to let it continue from the present site in Greater Kailash-I. The eviction was ordered on the grounds that the club had failed to comply with the lease deed condition of paying the lease money for two consecutive quarters.
Repeated requests by the petitioners’ lawyers, senior advocates Ranjit Kumar and Sandeep Narain, to stay the HC order failed to convince CJI’s bench that refused interim relief even though deadline to hand over the property ended on Tuesday.
Challenging the HC judgment, the petitioners accused one of its “ordinary members,” NPS Bhandari, of representing himself as the club’s secretary and conniving with the coloniser (DLF) to allow the latter’s eviction suit before the HC without recording of any evidence.
The petitioners alleged Bhandari made concessional statements that were used against the club. Bhandari, according to the petition, has now washed his hands of the litigation.
The petitioners assailed the eviction order on the grounds that the judgement was delivered in absence of a written statement by the club. They further claimed the court failed to appreciate the club’s decision to pay more than Rs 26 lakh to the MCD as house tax, while the onus was on the lessor.
The petitioners accused the Lal Chand Public Charitable Trust, an arm of DLF, of surreptitiously being used as a tool to avoid its obligations towards the MCD and other authorities.