M/S WELSPUN PROJECTS LTD. v. DIRECTOR, STATE TRANSPORT PUNJAB AND ANR 2016 INSC 776
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION Civil Appeal No. 4944-4945 Of 2016 FACTS
On 22.06.2005, a Concession Agreement was gone into between the Government of Punjab (through Director, State Transport, Punjab) and M/s Welspun Projects Ltd. (once in the past known as M/s MSK Projects India Ltd.)- the appealing party Company to configuration, fund, develop, work and keep up the Bus Terminal Project at Jalandhar on Build, Operate and Transfer (B.O.T) premise and to decide, demand, request, gather and hold the charges for a time of 8 years, 5 months and 21 days. A comparative Concession Agreement was gone into between the parties referenced above for the Bus Terminal at Ludhiana on a similar reason for a time of 10 years and 3 months. On 16.08.2005 and 25.10.2005, rent deeds were gone into between the parties for the undertaking destinations at Jalandhar and Ludhiana separately. As indicated by the said rent deeds, the litigant Company was required to pay just the yearly lease of Re. 1 as rent rental. On 26.11.2008, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar-Respondent No. 2 thus gave a notification under Section 103 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 (in short 'the Act') expressing that the premises being referred to was evaluated for a yearly rental estimation of Rs. 3,98,73,600/ - for the year 2008-09. Thus, on 08.02.2010, the appealing party Company got a notification from the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana expressing the house charge evaluation for the year 2008-09 and 2009-10 had been completed and the said property at Ludhiana was surveyed at Rs. 64,59,588.80/ - for a yearly rental estimation of the premises. The appealing party Company educated Respondent No. 2 thus that it was dealing with the task on BOT premise and as such the genuine proprietor is the State Transport Authorities. Be that as it may, when the substance of the notification were brought to the information on the State Transport Authorities, the State Transport Authorities educated that the appealing party Company is the real client, inhabitant and recipient of the properties of the Bus Terminals and as such is subject to pay all charges including House Tax according to the terms and states of the Concession Agreement. Being wronged by the interest sees, the appealing party Company moved toward the High Court. The High Court, vide request dated 09.02.2010 guided the appealing party Company to move toward Punjab Infrastructure Regulatory Authority (PIRA). The appealing party Company favored Petition Nos. 1 and 2 of 2010 preceding the PIRA against the State Transport Authorities of Jalanadhar and Ludhiana separately. Vide orders dated 08.09.2010 and 15.12.2010, the PIRA permitted the petitions recorded by the appealing party Company. Being abused by the above requests, the State Transport Authorities favoured F.A.O. Nos. 3372 and 3488 of 2011 under the steady gaze of the High Court. Learned single Judge of the High Court, vide normal judgment and request dated 14.11.2011, permitted the interests recorded by the respondents thus. Wronged by the request dated 14.11.2011, the litigant Company has favoured these petitions under the watchful eye of this Court by method of uncommon leave.
Whether the appellant company is liable to pay any rent?
It might be referenced here that both the rent deeds were executed by the Director, State Transport, Punjab for and for the benefit of the Governor of the State of Punjab. From a scrutiny of Clauses 6 and 13(e) of the rent deeds imitated above, we are of the sentiment that the appealing party Company was required to pay lease of Re. 1 just as rent rental and further the Government has explicitly referenced that with the exception of the rent rental, it will not exact any expenses, lease, charge or some other charge on the tenant for the rent of the demised premises. We locate that despite the fact that under the arrangements of Section 2(35) read with 97(2) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, Act, ordinarily the occupant who has been given land on rent for a term surpassing 1 (one) year is fundamentally at risk to pay charges on grounds and structures yet taking into account the arrangements of Section 157(1) of the Act, the Government is engaged to absolve in entire or to some extent from the installment of any such duty any individual or class of people or any property or portrayal of property which in the current case has been done for the benefit of the legislature when the rent deeds were executed.
Taking into account the renouncing conversation, we are of the considered conclusion that the appealing party Company isn't subject to pay any house charge under the Act and the interest and installment of house charge from the litigant Company was without the authority of law and the litigant Company is qualified for the discount of the measure of house charge paid by it alongwith pace of enthusiasm at the pace of 10% p.a. from the date of store.
Considering the abovementioned, the denounced judgment and request of the High Court dated 14.11.2011 is saved and, thusly, the interests are permitted.