Visakhapatnam

Row erupts over ownership of Waltair Club’s land

The Waltair Club claims that the club got patta issued in 1951 under the Estate Abolition Act and by virtue of which they claim to be the owner of the land   | Photo Credit: File photo

Waltair Club, an upscale family club in the city, seems to be entering into a legal battle with the State government.

The Special Investigation Team, formed to probe the alleged land scams in the district, took up the case pertaining to the ownership of the club’s land, based on a complaint filed by a third party, and it appears that things are on the fast-track.

The club that is located on 15 acres of land, was primarily leased from one Chetty family, on perpetual basis in the year 1900.

But according to the SIT officials, the lease agreement though was registered, the authenticated copy is yet to be made available to the SIT and it was not renewed after 1999.

The Waltair Club claims that the club got patta issued in 1951 under the Estate Abolition Act and by virtue of which they claim to be the owner of the land.

But according to the documents available with the SIT, they claim that even the copy supplied by the District Collector does not satisfy the registration criteria, stated supra.

“We have told both the parties — the original owners (the Chetty family) and as well as the club authorities — to provide the registered copy, if they have,” said SIT Chairman Vijay Kumar.

Things have changed after the 1948 Estates Abolition Act had come into force.

The club management claims that in 1951, they got patta issued by the Assistant Settlement Officer of Anakapalle. But the SIT say that the 1951 order was flawed, as it was not confirmed by the statuary Appellate Authority, Commissioner of Survey and Settlement of the State.

Moreover, the Chetty family who got themselves impleaded in this case before SIT by giving a representation on January 12, claimed that they got the 1951 order cancelled.

Earlier Writs

Two notices were earlier issued to the club by the competent official authorities and the club had obtained an interim order against both in 2013. One order was against VUDA and the second was against the showcause notice issued by the government as to why the lease should not be cancelled.

SIT had called the club management on Tuesday and took up the issue. It is learnt that the next hearing is scheduled on January 20 and both the parties have been told to bring all the documents, including the family tree of the Chetty family and authenticated evidence in favour of their claim as legal heirs.

The SIT is also examining the town survey reports from 1922 and the GVMC has been asked to provide all documents. A senior member from the club, said that it was a 146-year-old reputed institution and has all the necessary documents. It has also been paying taxes and as time comes, will produce all the papers.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 3:25:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/row-erupts-over-ownership-of-waltair-clubs-land/article33584194.ece

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