HC orders de-sealing of Mylapore Club premises situated on the Kapaleeswarar Temple land

Directs temple management to re-determine the rental arrears within two months and report to the court

Updated - March 04, 2022 07:15 pm IST

Published - March 04, 2022 07:14 pm IST - CHENNAI

The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department and the management of the Kapaleeswarar Temple at Mylapore in Chennai to de-seal the premises of Mylapore Club.

Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy issued the interim direction on a writ appeal preferred by the club challenging the dismissal of its writ petition against demand of ₹4.77 crore towards rental arrears.

Since Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram suggested that the temple management could be allowed to re-determine the rental arrears, the judges said such exercise could be carried out within two months and decided to keep the appeal pending till then.

In the meantime, they ordered de-sealing of the premises since senior counsel Satish Parasaran said that the children who were being coached on various sporting activities such as tennis were unable to avail the facility ever since the club was sealed on February 21.

It was on February 3 that Justice S.M. Subramaniam had dismissed the club’s writ petition and held that it was bound to pay fair rent in accordance with law. He, however, gave liberty to the club to approach the competent authority if there was any dispute in the quantum.

In its affidavit, the club said, it had originally obtained over 42 acres of the temple land on lease from 1901 to 2000. In 1999, a year before the 99-year lease period could expire, the temple management indicated that it would require monthly rent of ₹9.7 lakh for extending the lease.

However, since the club was not a commercial venture and its activities were run on a “not-for-profit basis” focusing on serving a “social and humanitarian purpose,” the club management negotiated with the temple administration for a fair and reasonable rent for continuing the lease.

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