HC orders club to pay 31 cr arrears to TN govt within a month
The Ootacamund Gymkhana Club moved the Madras High Court seeking to quash the order issued by Tahsildar of Ooty claiming to settle the revised arrear lease amount
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court ordered the Ootacamund Gymkhana Club to pay the lease arrear amount of Rs 31 crores to the State, and it also said that if any noncompliance with the order will lead to eviction.
The Ootacamund Gymkhana Club moved the Madras High Court seeking to quash the order issued by Tahsildar of Ooty claiming to settle the revised arrear lease amount.
According to the petitioner, in 1992, the government granted a lease in respect of the land measuring 10.32 acres to the favour of the club for golf activities.
The counsel for the petitioner contended that the government alone has the authority to fix or revise the lease amount after issuing notice.
It is also contended that the Tahsildar cannot fix the lease amount.
The Tashildar cannot make any demand for any time-barred arrears of lease beyond three years and therefore, the demand notices are liable to be set aside as lapsed, contended the petitioner.
The counsel for the State contended that Tahsildar served various demand notices to the petitioner club to pay the lease rent amount, pending for more than 30 years. However, the club failed to pay the said amount.
Based on the fixation of lease rent by the government, which was communicated through the Commissioner of land administration and the District Collector, issued the subsequent demand notices to the petitioner club, asking them to pay the lease rent, said the counsel.
After the submissions, the judge directed the Ootacamund Gymkhana Club to pay the arrears of lease rent of Rs 31,16,65,786 within one month.
If the club failed to pay the arrear rent, the judge directed the State to immediately evict the club from the government land and utilise the same for the benefit of the public at large.