Friday, January 29, 2010

HC orders status quo on Turf Club

HC orders status quo on Turf Club
Bangalore, Jan 28, DH News Service:

The Bangalore Turf Club, facing march orders from the government, got a breather from the High Court in the form a status quo order on Thursday.

Hearing a petition by the management and staff association of BTC, Justice Ajit Gunjal ordered to maintain status quo till February 10. The court directed the Principal Secretary, Finance, to consider the application of the petitioners (Club) seeking renewal of betting licence. Advocate General Ashok Harnahalli submitted that the Club is not entitled for the land as it was only a lease holder. It is only a concession given to the Club, and not a grant.

Panel constituted

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has constituted an experts’ committee to conduct a feasibility study of Yeshwanthpur-Yelahanka link road passing through University of Agricultural Sciences campus.

During the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court on Thursday, BBMP counsel stated that the committee will submit its report in ten days. The committee headed by Dr Shetty, Dean, National Institute of Advanced Studies includes experts like Dr Subramanyan Prasanna of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Professor Sharath Chandra of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), S G Neginhal, former DCF, Bangalore Urban, D A Muthanna, DCP East (Traffic) and Suresh Heblikar, cine artist and environmentalist. The matter has been adjourned.

On ‘fast track’

The State government seems to be overworking when it comes to Bangalore Turf Club. It had taken pains to despatch a letter to the president of the Club on January 26, a National Holiday on account of Republic Day.

The letter dated January 26, 2010, a copy of which is with Deccan Herald, is signed by the under secretary to government, Revenue Department.

Citing two letters from the Turf Club as references, the “even dated” letter informs the Club about the expiry of the lease period of the land allotted to it and allotment of alternative land in Bangalore Urban District, Bangalore North Taluk and Jala Hobli. It also goes on to say that the Club has not responded to its letter dated 2.11.2009 on registering the lease agreement relating to 85 acres of alternative land.

While stating that the government was not bound to grant alternative land to the Club, the letter rejects the plea for extension of the lease and tax holiday for construction of the new race course.

However, the question is what exigency prompted the government to despatch the letter, apparently of no grave import, to the Club on a National Holiday?


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