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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Admn takes over Masonic Lodge campus

THE NAZUL Department today took possession of Masonic Lodge, spread over 2.56 acres of land on plot number 30 in Residency area on A B Road, following an order issued by the court of Additional Collector K K Khare for breach of lease agreement.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2006 14:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

THE NAZUL Department today took possession of Masonic Lodge, spread over 2.56 acres of land on plot number 30 in Residency area on A B Road, following an order issued by the court of Additional Collector K K Khare for breach of lease agreement.

SDM and Nazul Officer Vivek Shrotriya, who took custody of the land in presence of police force, had submitted a report to Khare with an appeal for further action against Worshipful Master and Member of Free Masonic Lodge Central India that did not renew the lease, which expired on July 18, 1957. The land was granted on annual lease of Rs 192 to the organisation for a period of 10 years on July 18, 1947.

As a result, the court of Additional Collector issued a show cause notice to Masonic Lodge secretary with regard to eviction early this month.

While holding deliberations on the case, the Additional Collector’s court took into consideration four factors before releasing the order to take over the land this morning.

The points discussed whether land in question falls within ambit of Section 182 of MP Land Revenue Code (MPLRC) 1959 or has it been vested with Indore Municipal Corporation and whether the lessee has a right to claim compensation over the structure raised on the plot and whether the lease holder had the right to retain possession of land without renewing the lease.

Responding to the four issues, the order first proves that the land belonged to State Government and was not the property of IMC. It cites Section 181 of MPLRC to state that any person or organisation that holds government land or in which latter acquires right to intervene with land rights, the landholder will be called lessee and would be liable for a review under Section 182 of Code.

Dismissing the claim that the district administration was responsible for providing compensation for the building raised on the land, Khare’s directive said that Masonic Lodge could have claimed damages had the lease been cancelled before the expiry

of term. However, the Lodge lost leasehold rights over the land in the presence of fresh accord, and as a result the structure standing on the precious pocket of real estate was illegal. On the contrary, the unauthorised occupation had caused revenue loss to the government exchequer, the order said.

This is the second major takeover by district administration after sealing the Basketball Complex on Race Course Road last Thursday. The administration took action in both cases fearing loss of its property.

“The only difference is that while Corporation (Area) Basketball trustees wished to mortgage the Trust property to obtain loan for settling their fiscal dues, Masonic Lodge office-bearers attempted to prove that they owned the land and there were complaints that they wanted to sell off the expanse to land developers in near future,” an administrative official remarked.

Lodge officials tried to grab land: Report
NAZUL OFFICER Vivek Shrotriya’s report on land lease breach submitted to Additional Collector K K Khare has charged office-bearers with attempting to grab the government land encompassing Masonic Temple.

“Their (Lodge) denial for possessing 1947 land lease agreement despite constant appeals made to them to produce the original record and their failure to renew the lease and breach its provision indicates malafide intention on their part to grab the government land,” the report remarked.

It added that Lodge Central India No 84 represented by Dr R P Shrivastava and later by Pankaj Gandhi produced a photocopy of a 1913 sale deed, which mentioned that Seth Jajulal Mahajan sold off Bungalow No 3 (survey no 10) to Free Masonic Lodge Central India 3647.

The report reiterates that the Lodge office-bearers denied that they had any lease deed and produced the copy of sale deed when they were repeatedly asked to present the dossiers, which could prove their right to land. Adding that occupation on the land was illegal, Shrotriya in his report recommended regaining its possession.

Elucidating its history, the report says that Residency Area was part of Holkar state, which came in possession of East India Company in 1805 following Mandsaur Treaty. In 1858, British Empire took possession of the area that was governed by Residency Authority. Initially it was under purview of Residency Area Bazaar Act after, which Residency Area Authority Act came into force in 1934.

Residency Authority leased out land for educational, religious, social and commercial use by fixing annual lease rent from time to time. Masonic Lodge was one such beneficiary.

The provisions of Indore Residency Area Act 1934 were applicable to the land Lodge occupied.

First Published: Jan 01, 2006 14:27 IST

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