HC relief for Andheri (east) hospital, owner of land restrained from creating third party rights

Published on May 15, 2022 08:30 PM IST

Mumbai: The Bombay high court (HC) has restrained a trust at Andheri (east) from selling off its property worth ₹450 crore while a suit filed by a hospital trust is pending before the HC

HC relief for Andheri (east) hospital, owner of land restrained from creating third party rights
HC relief for Andheri (east) hospital, owner of land restrained from creating third party rights
ByKAY Dodhiya

Mumbai: The Bombay high court (HC) has restrained a trust at Andheri (east) from selling off its property worth 450 crore while a suit filed by a hospital trust is pending before the HC.

The hospital trust had entered into an agreement with the owner trust in 2018 to buy the approximate 22 acres of land, owned by the latter and had paid 143.5 crore towards the entire amount. Following the agreement and payment, the hospital trust had constructed an eleven-storey building.

However, after the hospital trust failed to pay the full amount of 450 crore, despite the charity commissioner granting an extension of time for making the payment and concluding the sale, the owner trust had cancelled the agreement in 2019. In light of the cancellation of the agreement, the hospital apprehended that the owner trust would create third party rights by selling off the land to another party and hence sought ad-interim relief in the form of restraining the owner’s trust from doing so.

The HC held that as the hospital trust had agreed to pay increased price but the owner trust was not agreeing to it and as other proceedings relating to the parcel of land were underway in the HC, it would be necessary to protect the interest of the hospital and hence, restrained the owner trust from creating third party rights to the land till the case was decided by the HC.

The single-judge bench of justice AK Menon, while hearing the interim application filed by Arogya Bharati Hospital in a commercial suit was informed by senior advocate Aspi Chinoy that the hospital was apprehending being dispossessed by the Bai Kabibai and Hansraj Morarji Charity Trust (owner) as the 2018 sale agreement of the 22 acre of land had been cancelled by the owner trust.

Chinoy further informed the bench that the hospital trust had time and again reiterated that they were willing to conclude the sale deal as per the agreement by paying the enhanced amount sought by the owner trust and as proceedings for specific performance of the sale agreement was pending before the HC, the owner trust should be restrained from creating third party rights.

On the part of the owner trust, senior advocate Virendra Tulzapurkar submitted that the agreement had been cancelled as the Enforcement Directorate had informed it that the payment made by the hospital trust was the proceeds of crime. Tulzapurkar submitted that the trust was willing to return the amount paid by the hospital trust which was present with them as and when the hospital trust handed over the property to it.

After hearing both sides, the bench noted in its order, “In these state of the facts, I am of the view that the defendants (owner trust) will not be entitled to dispose of the land or attempt to create third party rights in the land given the state of pending proceedings, oft-repeated willingness of the plaintiffs (hospital) to complete the transaction, repeated negotiations and apparent enhancement of consideration and the contention of the plaintiffs that within the time granted by the Charity Commissioner’s office, they had offered to complete the sale by payment of the balance.”

The court further added, “The parties not having then completed the sale, I am of the view that it would not be appropriate in the interests of the parties that the defendants be permitted to dispose of, alienate or create third party rights in the property. Admittedly, the plaintiffs are said to be in possession of at-least part of the property.”

The bench granted ad-interim injunction restraining the owner trust from selling, alienating, transferring, disposing of, encumbering, or creating any third-party rights in the suit property bearing new CTS no. 198 (Pt.) admeasuring 91824.71 sq.mts. till the hearing and final disposal of the suit.

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