The Supreme Court has deferred hearing on a petition filed by Nusli Wadia, chairman of the Rs 1,000-crore Bombay Dyeing group, challenging the proceedings initiated by New India Assurance to evict him from a Malabar Hill flat rented to the Wadia's since 1972.
The textile baron has challenged three notices issued by NIA estate officer CP Karunakaran under Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 asking him to vacate the premises for accommodating the PSU's employees.
The petition also said the notices, issued between February 2001 and July 2003, demanded damages to the tune of more than Rs 11 lakh.
NIA, which acquired the complex from Sterling Corporation Ltd in 1962, had given a flat to Wadia family on a monthly rent of Rs 700 in October 1972. Besides, Rs 3,000 was to be paid for maintenance to Mayfair Garden's Tenants Association.
The Bombay Dyeing chairman sought to quash the notice of termination of tenancy and two show-cause notices. Further, he sought to restrain NIA from taking any action in this regard.
The plea alleged NIA's action to evict a "bonafide and genuine tenant" was "malafide and arbitrary". The company wanted much higher rent, which was evident from the fact that it had created three new tenancies/licences in the Mayfair Garden property, the latest being in 2002, Wadia said.
"I am one of the original tenants in the building and my tenancy commenced much prior to acquisition of the building in 1961-62," he added.
Wadia pointed out the premises were rented out on much higher rent to other tenants like Tata Tea in 1996 (for 11 years), Stadfast Holdings Pvt Ltd in 1998 for five years and to Indian Card Cloth Ltd in 2002.