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Sunday, December 5, 1999
Chandigarh Tribune
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Lease cancellation drive stepped up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 4 — After realising that the process of resuming property had turned into a profitable venture for some at the cost of the government exchequer, the estate office has speeded up the process of cancellation of lease in several cases, and suddenly no more time is being given to those who have defaulted on payments.

Almost 110 commercial and residential sites in the city have either been cancelled or resumed in the past 2 weeks since The Tribune carried out a series of articles on the subject. It was pointed out how some unscrupulous people had been misusing the provisions of law to gain long-term “monetary advantages’’, while cases carry on for several years.

Now the cancellation of lease has been ordered in case of leasehold sites while freehold sites are being resumed. This change of tactics has stumped several of those who were using the loopholes in the law. They are being asked to give up or relinquish charge of the property.

Most of the defaulters have been asked to pay up by December 31, said a source. The change comes after the Administration ordered collection of all pending dues. Usually cases of dispute between the leaseholder and the government take anything betwee 2 to 4 years to decide as three different officials at different levels of hierarchy in the Chandigarh Administration hear appeals of the owners , or the lessee’s.

Of late the process of resumption had become less of a deterrent than it was envisaged under the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act , 1952, a source said.

One provision of the law in case of resumed property is yet to be evoke more forcefully by the estate office. It does not attach the rents of the properties in all cases. Under this provision the rent is deposited by the tenants in the coffers of the estate office.

One of the major lacunae in the law is that whenever a site or a building is “resumed’’, the owner is not “dispossesed’’ of his occupation of the building. He continues with his trade or keeps on collecting rent — which may touch upto Rs 2 lakh a month in case of bigger properties — from his tenants.Back

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