G SOMAN S O P GOPALAN Vs. STATE OF KERALA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
G.SOMAN S/O P.GOPALAN
STATE OF KERALA
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(1.) The petitioners occupy shop rooms In the shopping complex owned by the third respondent-Panchayat In various business pursuits. After the shopping complex was put up, during November 1992 allotment of rooms went in favour of the highest bidders. This was for a period of three years, as could be seen from Ext. R3(a) proposal.
(2.) Occupation continued even after the expiry of the lease period on revised and altered rentals. Early during 2002, the Panchayat had decided to terminate the lease arrangement. They re-notified the shop rooms for lease by way of auction. A notice in this regard is produced as Ext. R3(e) by the respondent. In furtherance to the above, the petitioners had been advised that they were obliged to surrender possession. The petitioners thereupon filed Original Petition No. 13022 of 2002. This Court directed the Government to examine the representations that had been pending with them in the matter and this resulted in Ext. P5. The Government held that the request of the petitioners to permit them to continue the occupation of the rooms on condition of payment of enhanced rent is not tenable. The order is under challenge.
(3.) The petitioners now heavily rely on Ext. P1 Circular issued by the Government during the year 1985. The Government had observed that the local authorities should see to it that at the end of period of lease, in case the occupier is willing to continue the occupation with 5% increase in rent he may not be dispossessed from the shop room. According to the petitioners, it governed the situation then and now. He also referred to a judgment of this Court in O.P. No. 5678 of 2000 as well as an order passed in C.M.P. No. 60 of 1999, which are produced as exhibits. A criticism also was voiced that the Government was taking elastic, if not inconsistent stands. An order passed on 15-4-2002 (Ext. P8) directed the Velinallor Grama Panchayat, in a similar situation to rely on Ext. P1. The counsel submits that the petitioners had a legitimate expectation to continue in the premises, of course by paying a reasonable enhanced rent and their rights ought to have been upheld.;
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