- High Court orders petitioner to implead JW Golf Club also
- HC expresses ‘shock’ that Government allowed sub-letting to JWGC
Mysore/Mysuru: The long drawn out saga regarding renewal of Mysore Race Course land took an interesting turn yesterday when Karnataka High Court admitted a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the renewal of the lease for another 30 years.
The High Court also ordered notice to the State Government and the Mysore Race Club (MRC) in response to the PIL challenging the extension of lease of 139.39 acres of land at Kurubarahalli in Mysuru till July 31, 2046. The PIL was filed by S. Umapathi, a Bengaluru-based advocate, who has questioned leasing out the said land for just 2 per cent of the Club’s gross annual income as lease rent.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S.Vishwajit Shetty directed the petitioner to also implead Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Golf Club (JWGC) as they too are a beneficiary of the said extension, which was accorded on January 17, 2020.
The Bench also orally observed that, “Prima facie, it is shocking” when documents revealed that MRC had sublet a portion of the Club land to JWGC on same terms through a bi-partite agreement and that the Government had allowed this agreement.
Meanwhile, the petitioner claimed that MRC, whose lease had expired on June 30, 2016 itself, was allowed to retain possession of the valuable property belonging to Public Works Department (PWD), which was done without following due process of law.
The petitioner also contended that “Lease was contrary to the provision of the Karnataka Land Revenue rules and resulting in huge loss to the State exchequer. The MRC was using the land illegally between 2016 – 2020 despite expiry of lease period and the Government had not collected rent from it for this period.”