21 Jan 2022 12:24 PM GMT
The Supreme Court of India Wednesday allowed the Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd. it to put up advertisements on the NOIDA side of the DND Flyway.A bench comprising Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice B.R. Gavai today allowed an Application by the Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd seeking direction to maintain status quo with respect to display of outdoor advertisements along the DND Flyway and to direct...
The Supreme Court of India Wednesday allowed the Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd. it to put up advertisements on the NOIDA side of the DND Flyway.
A bench comprising Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice B.R. Gavai today allowed an Application by the Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd seeking direction to maintain status quo with respect to display of outdoor advertisements along the DND Flyway and to direct NOIDA not to take any coercive action to remove the outdoor advertisements.
The application was filed in a special leave petition filed by Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited challenging Allahabad High Court's order asking it to stop collecting toll from commuters plying on the DND flyway connecting Delhi and neighbouring Noida.
The application was filed after the NOIDA authority had removed advertisement hoardings on the DND Flyway on the alleged basis that Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd. had not been paying the license fee as envisaged under the Advertisement Policies of the NOIDA Authority.
The interim direction has been issued noting that the applicant has undertaken to maintain the roads on DND flyway, and will be subject to the outcome of the Special Leave Petition.
The Bench has allowed the applicant's request to be permitted to put up outdoor advertisements on the Noida side of the DND Flyway on payment of Rs.125/- per square feet, till the Special Leave Petitions are finally disposed of.
Senior Advocates A.M. Singhvi Siddharth Bhatnagar appeared on behalf of the Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd.
The Bench was informed on behalf of the applicant that the Court that the High Court's order which is under appeal directed that no toll can be collected. It was submitted that the only form of revenue for maintaining the Expressway is outdoor advertisements.
According to the applicant, an application was made for display of the advertisements under the Large Format Advertisement Policy ("LFA Policy") on 09.06.2011 and the fee which was being charged by NOIDA according to the LFA Policy was being paid. Subsequently, there has been an increase of the license fee charged per square feet per month from Rs.125/- to Rs.300. However, the applicant has been paying license fee at a reduced rate.
The Bench noted that a statement has been filed on behalf of the applicant that the license fee charged under LFA Policy is not commensurate with revenue earned through advertisements on the Noida side of the DND Flyway.
It was also argued on behalf of the application that the NOIDA Authority had removed and confiscated the property of the company with the sole aim to irreparably harm the financial assets of the Company (i.e. the revenue stream from advertisements) and undermine and negate the continued viability of the company as a going concern.
It was argued on behalf of the applicant that consequent to the Impugned Judgment dated 26.10.2016 by the High Court of Allahabad, collection of tolls on the DND Flyway was discontinued, and thus, the Company became solely reliant on advertisement revenues for the day-to-day maintenance of the Bridge and to make the necessary provisions for traffic and security arrangements.
The Company also submitted that it was under major financial stress in view of the general economic slowdown caused due to Covid-19 pandemic, and therefore, was heavily reliant on the advertisement revenue to meet its day to day operation and maintenance expenses.
Senior Advocate Ravindra Kumar, appearing for NOIDA, submitted that the High Court in the impugned judgment did not deal with advertisements and the revenue therefrom. He argued that permission to put up outdoor advertisements were granted by a separate letter at the request of the applicant.
He further submitted that the application seeking permission for setting up outdoor advertisements was made on 31.05.2010. He referred to the letters written by the applicant, wherein it was categorically stated by the applicant that they would be bound by the conditions of the LFA Policy of NOIDA.
Mr Kumar also vehemently opposed the request made by the applicant for continuing outdoor advertisements at the rate of Rs.125/- per square feet per month, and that the applicant should be directed to pay as per the prevailing rate under the LFA Policy.
The Bench has directed the special leave petition to be listed for final hearing in the month on March, 2022 on a fixed day.
Senior Advocates A.M. Singhvi and Siddharth Bhatnagar were briefed on behalf of the Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd. by a team from Karanjawala & Co. Advocates
The NOIDA Authority was represented by Senior Advocate Ravindra Kumar.
Case Title: Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd vs Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Association and Ors
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