The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) seems to have blinked first in its face off with the BJR Group that owns Gallops restaurant, located on the club’s premises.
The two have reached an out-of-court settlement of their disputes over issues such as the club’s decision to charge entry fees from non-members visiting Gallops and increasing the conducting fees.
The club has agreed to gradually waive Rs 2 crore out of the Rs 3.25 crore that BJR owed the club.
The BJR Group will now pay only Rs 1.25 crore.
RWITC will also withdraw restrictions on the entry and exit of non–members to Gallops and has agreed to maintain conducting fees levied on Gallops at Rs 3 crore.
Sources in the municipal corporation said the RWITC has realised that a tussle with its sub-tenants and a poor track record can affect chances of the renewal of its lease agreement with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2013.
The BJR Group filed a contempt petition in the high court when the turf club issued a circular in December saying non-members will have to pay a fee to enter Gallops.
The petition said RWITC had violated the court’s earlier order to refrain from interfering with the restaurant’s working until the past legal issues between the two parties were solved.
The in-principle settlement was approved in the general body meeting of the club’s managing committee last week.
The two parties will soon sign a memorandum of understanding.
“It is in the interest of the club and hence we have gone ahead and agreed to an in-principle agreement,” said Vivek Jain, chairman, RWITC.
Jain also added that the court cases will take time to conclude.
Sources said BJR has agreed to drop its legal suits against the club.
“It is very pre-mature to comment,” said Mohanbir Singh, counsel for the BJR Group.
This, however, does not end the series of cases pending in the Small Causes Court and the Bombay High Court.
Officials from the BMC also said this settlement will not affect the BMC’s claims of violations.
“We don’t recognise the existence of Gallops. The club has sub-let a portion of the racecourse to them without the consent of the BMC. This settlement doesn’t concern us,” a civic official from the BMC’s estate department said requesting anonymity.
The BMC has objected to RWITC’s decision to lease a portion of the racecourse for 10 years to a third party — Gallops — without the municipal corporation’s consent.
RWITC’s lease with the BMC expires in 2013, but its contract with Gallops ends only in 2018.