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Delhi HC Allows Deceased CMD’s Wife To Lease Space In Ardee Mall, Appoints Court Observer [Read Judgment]

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25 Oct 2017 11:58 AM GMT
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The Delhi High Court has allowed Meenakshi Varma, wife Ardee Group’s late chairman and managing director Ashok Varma, to lease vacant space in Ardee Mall in Gurgaon while appointing retired district judge Rakesh Kapoor as court observer to supervise the leasing of the space in the mall which has been gathering dust for years now owing to a property dispute.

Justice Yogesh Khanna allowed Meenakshi Varma, who along with one of her daughters, is embroiled in property dispute with her daughter Shefali Varma, to lease out the space after the court was informed that any process to stall leasing would cause further losses to the family.

Meanwhile, Meenakshi Varma filed an affidavit in the court stating that they need to lease 2.71 lakh sqft area, and out of which for 1.55 lakh sqft, they intend to execute the LOIs and in 55 cases they have already executed the LOIs.

The court noted that it has from time to time been giving permission to the defendants to sell/lease the property so as to avoid financial losses or to save the property from deterioration by keeping it vacant.

It also allowed Shefali Verma, the petitioner, to inspect the mall once a month to suggest improvements.

The fee of local commissioner is fixed at Rs 1,25,000 per month plus expenses on actual basis payable by the defendant company.

The court further ordered, “…whatever has been done is not against the interest of the family but rather is to save it from losses. Hence with consent of all the family members and to save the goodwill and loss to the defendant companies and as the parties have no faith upon each other so as an interim measure, Sh Rakesh Kapoor (retd District Judge-Delhi) is hereby appointed as a Court Observer to do the following:

  • to supervise the leasing, initially, for a period of six months

  • the defendants shall provide to the learned observer, the list of unleased units/shops (for which LOIs have been executed and filed before this court) within a week of this order. The learned observer may verify the credentials of prospective tenants, verify terms of the lease, payment terms, proof of payments already made etc;

  • to examine the final draft of lease deed(s) and may suggest the defendant to incorporate any other term(s) etc. if found necessary and/or valid;

  • no lease shall be beyond the period of five years initially, but with an option to renew under intimation to court

  • if LOIs are not executed, such units be treated as unleased units

  • the list of unleased units/shops (for which LOIs have not been executed) with details of area of each unit, local layout plan, approvals, permissions, if any, be laid before the learned observer;

  • a copy of list of unleased units may be given to the plaintiff to enable them to find a prospective tenant and the learned observer may consider the offer given by the plaintiff if better to that of the defendants; and shall intimate the defendants who shall then go for the best offers and shall submit a copy of LOI to the learned observer;

  • if any area(s)/units, have already been sold during the lifetime of Sh. Ashok Verma, its possession be handed over to the buyers on complete payments to the defendant companies;

  • the monies/ rentals/ security amount/ maintenance amount received from the tenants, purchasers etc; shall be deposited in a separate account to be opened by the defendant no.1 company and all expenditure recurring or otherwise; including salaries, maintenance, statutory dues/taxes, pertaining to such mall, be paid from such account;

  • the monthly statements be filed before the learned observer who shall examine the same and may file status report, if need arose.

  • all books of accounts shall be audited by chartered accountant and be maintained as per law;

  • the plaintiff may, through her representatives, be allowed to inspect the said mall once a month on due intimation to learned observer and may suggest ways of improvement, if any.

Read the Judgment Here


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