Mysore/Mysuru: The Karnataka High Court has directed the State Government to file objections by Feb. 18 in connection with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed challenging the extension of lease of 139.39 acres of land in favour of Mysore Race Club (MRC).
Also, the MRC has been asked to submit whether the Government had permitted it to further sub-lease a portion of the land to Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Golf Club (JWGC).
A Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka orally observed that the Golf Club seems to be the luckiest to get Government land on sub-lease from another lessee.
“How could MRC further sub-lease a portion of the total Government land, leased to it by the Government, to the Golf Club? How the rent equivalent to two percent of the income is recoverable if the Club claims loss? The lease was renewed on Jan. 17, 2020 with retrospective effect from July 1, 2016 till July 31, 2046 fixing the lease rent at two percent of the gross annual income of the Club,” the Bench observed.
The Counsel, representing the MRC, sought time to clarify whether under the leasehold rights it has any provision to further sub-lease the property. The Bench granted time to the State Government to file a statement of objections till Feb. 18 and no further time would be granted.
Bengaluru-based advocate, S. Umapathi has filed a PIL stating that 139.39 acres of land in Survey Number 4 and 74 in Kurubarahalli, Mysuru, was leased out in favour of Mysore Race Club in 1970. The lease was renewed from time to time and eventually expired in 2016. Since then the MRC was reportedly occupying the land without the renewal of the lease, the PIL stated.
The petitioner had contended that the State Government suffered loss by way of lower rent on the Government land and claimed that the grant of land was without any public interest and benefited only a few rich and influential persons.