Re-looking into MRC land lease, Govt. tells HC
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Re-looking into MRC land lease, Govt. tells HC

March 31, 2021

Advocate General seeks a week’s time; next hearing on April 7

Bengaluru: The State Government has told the Karnataka High Court (HC) that it was re-examining the possibilities of taking back the leased out land to Mysore Race Club (MRC). 

“We are re-looking into the issue of taking back the lease of 139.39 acres of land owned by Public Works Department in Survey Number 4 and 74 at Kurubarahalli in Mysuru. We need a week’s time in this regard,” Advocate General of Karnataka Prabhuling K. Navadagi told the Court yesterday. 

The Advocate General submitted before the High Court Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty while hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Bengaluru-based advocate S. Umapathi challenging the Government decision to extend the lease of land to the MRC. 

After taking an undertaking from the Advocate General,  the Bench posted the hearing   to April 7. 

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning over phone from Bengaluru, advocate Umapathi said that Prabhuling K. Navadagi told the Bench that the State authorities would re-examine the Government Order of the lease. 

“The Advocate General told the Court that the Government had met on Mar. 29 and we need one week’s time to re-examine the order and re-issue a fresh order. It looks like the Government will not withdraw the lease order but might impose certain additional terms and conditions on the existing lease,” Umapathi said.  

On Mar. 15, the Court had directed the State Government to place on record all the Cabinet notes, relevant documents and files regarding the extension of lease of land to MRC. On Jan. 17, 2020, the Government extended the lease land with retrospective effect from July 1, 2016 till July 31, 2046 on a rent of merely 2 percent gross annual income of MRC. 

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Advocate Umapathi filed the PIL challenging the Government’s decision. In his petition, Umapathi said that 139.39 acres of land was leased out to MRC in 1970. The lease was renewed from time to time and eventually expired in 2016. He claimed that lease was contrary to the provision of the Karnataka Land Revenue Rules and resulted in huge loss to the State exchequer. It may be mentioned here that in January this year, the High Court Single Bench of Justice P.B. Bajanthri, while refusing to interfere with the order passed by the Karnataka Information Commission, had held that Bangalore Turf Club Limited, Mysore Race Club Limited, The Institution of Engineers (India) Karnataka State and Ladies Club, are all ‘public authority’ as defined under the Right To Information Act, 2005.

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