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'TN Housing Board Empowered To Initiate Eviction If Allotment Rules Are Violated': Madras High Court

Sebin James
20 Jan 2022 11:57 AM GMT
TN Housing Board Empowered To Initiate Eviction If Allotment Rules Are Violated: Madras High Court
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The Madras High Court has dismissed a writ petition filed by Anna Nagar Club to quash the letter of Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) demanding rental arrears from it.The club owed an amount equivalent to Rs. 52,25,960/- as on June 2016 as rental arrears. The rent was fixed at Rs. 20,000 per month for the Club which occupies seven grounds of lands in a prime location at Anna Nagar.Justice...

The Madras High Court has dismissed a writ petition filed by Anna Nagar Club to quash the letter of Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) demanding rental arrears from it.

The club owed an amount equivalent to Rs. 52,25,960/- as on June 2016 as rental arrears. The rent was fixed at Rs. 20,000 per month for the Club which occupies seven grounds of lands in a prime location at Anna Nagar.

Justice S.M. Subramaniam observed that the Housing Board is owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu and any loss to the Board will be the loss to the revenue of the State.

Therefore, the court noted that the petitioner club should pay the remaining rental arrears and further, the Housing Board must carry out an exercise fixing the rent in commensuration with the actual market rental value in that locality.

The petitioner counsel had previously submitted that they had paid arrears to the extent of Rs 20 lakhs out of 52 lakhs.

"As far as the impugned letter is concerned, the said letter cannot be construed as a cause for the purpose of filing this writ petition. The respondent-Board has demanded payment of rental arrears and the representations submitted by the petitioner were considered and the petitioner-Club is treated as a defaulter and therefore, is liable for penal action. This Court is of the opinion that the petitioner being a Club, are bound to follow the bye-laws approved by the competent authority and also abide by the terms and conditions of the allotment issued by the TNHB...", the court observed.

The court has asked TNHB to fix a fair rent and calculate the arrears of rent within 30 days from the receipt of court order.

Moreover, the defaulting petitioner club has been instructed to pay off the remaining rental arrears within a period of four weeks. Failure to settle the arrears will entitle the Board to initiate action against the club for recovering dues and penalty along with eviction.

Anna Nagar Club, which claims to be a social and cultural association registered under the Societies Registration Act, had earlier approached the TNHB Chairman, requesting to issue No Objection Certificate for starting a Permit Room/Bar in the petitioner-Club premises.

According to the petitioner, TNHB didn't act on the issuance of the Certificate while Police granted the same. A writ petition (W.P No: 2472/ 2016) was filed by the petitioner in 2016 seeking directions to TNHB for considering the petitioner's representation for grant of NOC for Bar License, which was allowed by the High Court. In turn, the respondent board passed an order directing the petitioners to make full payment towards the rental arrears.

Noting that the subject property belongs to TNHB, the court underscored that if a property is earmarked for recreational purpose, then the purpose and object of TNHB Rules must be followed. The petitioner club does not have the discretion to deviate from the said object and purpose.

"This Court is of the opinion that the petitioner being a Club, are bound to follow the bye-laws approved by the competent authority and also abide by the terms and conditions of the allotment issued by the TNHB. In the event of any violation, the Board is competent to initiate action for eviction."

If there is no provision under the TNHB Rules for grant of any such NOC for running the Bar, then TNHB cannot grant any such No Objection Certificate at all, the court clarified.

"Any violations in this regard can never be accepted nor the TNHB is empowered to grant any permission beyond the scheme under which the land was earmarked and also with reference to the terms and conditions of the allotment. Thus, the petitioner-Club cannot seek any permission beyond the scope of the TNHB Rules and Regulations and also in violation of the bye-laws of the petitioner's Society", the court added further in the order.

Referring to the recent judgment in the Kancheepuram Reading Room and Tennis Club represented by its Secretary Vs. The Director-General of Police, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 1, the bench held that the petitioner association cannot act beyond the scope of its own bye-laws.

"In the instant case, in the event of any violation or otherwise, the competent authorities of the Registration Department is empowered to initiate action for cancellation of registration of the petitioner-Club and it is needless to state that the jurisdictional police authorities are also empowered to monitor the activities of the petitioner-Club and if any irregularity or illegality is identified, then immediate actions are to be initiated in the manner known to law. In the event of initiation of any action, the intimation must be provided to the Registration Department as well as TNHB for all appropriate actions", the court added in its order.
Accordingly, the writ petition preferred by the petitioner club was disposed off.

Case Title: Anna Nagar Club v. The Executive Engineer and Administrative Officer, TNHB (Anna Nagar Division)

Case No: WP.No.40742/201

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 25

Click Here To Read/ Download Order


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