Haji Ali dargah’s earnings from mobile towers: Mumbai court tells state to maintain status quo
Mumbai city news: The high court restrained the state from taking any coercive action against the trust over revenue from mobile towers on its premisesmumbai Updated: May 25, 2017 09:29 IST
The Bombay high court on Wednesday restrained the state government from taking any coercive action against the Haji Ali Dargah Trust over recoveries to be made on the Trust’s earnings from mobile towers on its premises.
The court ordered both the state and the Trust to maintain the status quo until June 15, when it will hear the case again.
The trust had moved court on Wednesday morning, seeking a stay on a notice that the collector issued to it earlier this month, asking it to cough up Rs1.88 crore, 50% of the revenue that it had generated from mobile towers.
If one leases out space to cellular companies for mobile phone towers or any other equipment, they must pay the state 50% of the revenue generated from it.
The Trust, however, contended that the rule applied only to housing societies and not to a religious or charitable trust.
It said that though the land was leased to the Trust by the collector’s office years ago, the lease terms placed no restrictions on letting out any part of it.
It said that in 2009, the trust gave a small portion of the land on lease to four cellular companies and the trust used the income for the benefit of the community.
Besides, it argued, if the cellular towers were against rules, the state should not have any claim to any revenue generated from it.
The state government and the collector’s office reiterated that the Trust’s plea did not stand in the high court as the Mumbai Revenue Tribunal had jurisdiction over such matters.
The state also argued that if the court decided to hear the Trust’s plea, then it should go by the mandate, which directs petitioners to deposit 50% of the revenue as an interim measure.
The court, however, decided against seeking such a deposit and directed that this be pressed upon once the matter is heard on the next date by a regular bench.
On May 4, the collector’s office had issued a notice to the trust asking it to deposit Rs 1.88 crore in the next 20 days. The demand was based upon an April 2005 notification that mandates that 50% of the income from such a lease from societies be given to the state.