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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Estate office asks Golf Club to deposit Rs. 4.3 cr lease rent in 2 weeks

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh , August 12, 2014
First Published: 00:23 IST(12/8/2014) | Last Updated: 08:39 IST(12/8/2014)

The UT estate office, on Monday, issued a notice to the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) to deposit 50% of Rs. 8.59 crore outstanding lease rent for the last six years within two weeks.

UT assistant estate officer (AEO) Balbir Singh Dhol said: "The notice has been sent to president, Chandigarh Golf Club, to deposit 50% of `8.59 crore within 15 days as lease rent from March 16, 2008, to March 15, 2014.  If the rent is not deposited, the club will be sealed."

On July 19, deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin had directed the CGC to deposit `8.59 crore within 15 days. The club management moved Punjab and Haryana high court challenging this order, following which a division bench comprising justices SK Mittal and Mahavir Singh Chauhan, on July 24, stayed on the orders and asked the club to deposit 50% of the lease rent before the next hearing, on August 25.

Meanwhile, the CGC filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court on Monday.

"We have yet not received the order from the estate office and may get it by Tuesday. However, we have filled a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court and our lawyer has confirmed that the case has been filed and is likely to come up for hearing  next week," said club president BS Gill (Gilly).

 
Lease area in question

The community centre building in Sector 6, comprising 132-acres of land and a swimming pool including its extension, was leased out to the CGC on August 3, 1971. The lease was extended periodically and the last extension was granted for 20 years from March 16, 1988, to March 15, 2008. After the expiry of the lease period, a tussle has been on between the CGC and administration over lease rent. It was on November 16, 2012, that the DC directed the club to pay a total of  Rs. 9.27 crore as lease rent. The DC had finalised the monthly rent as Rs. 13.44 lakh for 2008-09, Rs. 14.38 lakh (2009-10), Rs 15.39 lakh (2010-11), Rs. 16.46 lakh (2011-12), and Rs. 17.62 lakh (2012-13). The club was asked to pay the rent in 2 months.

As the CGC was not ready to pay the lease rent amount calculated by the administration, it approached the high court in January 2013. Here, the court appointed justice Kuldeep Singh (retd) as a mediator to reconcile the issue. UT administration had opposed his suggestion for Rs. 36 lakh per year lease amount to be paid by the CGC. On May 19, the CGC withdrew its petition after the UT administration informed the court that it had revised the lease rent scheme as Rs. 10.02 lakh per month from 2008-09 with prospective yearly increase.

Since the court had previously granted the CGC the liberty to challenge the UT administration's decision, in case it was not satisfied with the new scheme, the CGC again moved court.

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