Land lease issue with government petroleum company
I own land and leased it to the government pertroleum company. I was also dealer. My license was terminated due to one of the old cases and I accept the consequences.
Term of the Lease 30 years:
Rent paid since 2000: Rs. 200 / month
We stopped accepting rent since 2003.
However, during this course, company created 3rd party interest by creating ATM (non-petroleum product) and CNG filling station - without landlord (in this case I am the land lord) consent. (remember I was dealer at that time)
I understand that Dealership and Land lease are treated as separate contracts and have no bearing on each other.
In the mean time, I have filed petition in local court to fight legal battle on the grounds that since they created 3rd party interest, the lease stands void.
At this point we occupy the property, but govt company is bringing local magistrate and local police pressure to vacate our land so that they can start running the petrol pump for next 14 years (remaining period of lease) and then - renew the lease after the lease expire.
I have read that Govt companies are not able to find suitable lands as property prices have sky rocketed and in that regards petrol pump has not been lucrative business. so they have directive never let go off the land that they have possession of.
Asked in Property Law from United States
In reference to above as yourself is in possession of the property and the petrolpump is not operational, file an application in the concerned court stating that you need to use the land for XYZ reason and for the same seek permission for dismantling of the petrol pump.......(in case you dont want to pursue) . Or if there is a provision in the lease deed / the dealership agreement ...check if you can re brand the petrol pump with some other petroleum company.....
Best of luck
1)refuse to vacate the land
2) refuse to bow down to pressure tactics
3)you can in suit filed by you seek an injunction restraining petroleum company from disturbing your possession of land pending hearing and final disposal of the suit
You are rightly filed a petition before the local court for eviction on the ground of violation of the agreed terms and conditions for the lease. You can also seek the eviction under the grounds of your personal occupation, default by the company in payment of monthly rents of the premises and areas of rents. The magistrates and local police does not have any right or power to visit the land and the pressurize you for vacating. If you are facing any problem or trouble from them you can approach the Honorable Chief Justice of concerned High Court with your grievance. You can lodge a complaint online.
1. By the act of stopping to accept rent what did you want to claim? Did you cancel the lease agreement giving adequate notice?
2. The lease agreement is required to be perused for giving proper advice. Was there any clause mentioned in the lease agreement about termination of the said lease agreement?
3. If yes, then just follow the steps mentioned in the lease agreement for terminating the said lease agreement,
4. if there is no such clause for terminating the agreement, you can not unilaterally terminate the lease agreement,
5. If there is a termination clause in the agreement, then they shall have to vacate the land as per the clause of the agreement and in such case the so called directive of the Govt Company's will not matter at all.
termination of licence is void (if based on decree or judgment in the case) because you have right to appeal against the decree. unless and until decree is finally decided by the superior court your licence cannot be terminated.
termination of license is an administrative action and it cannot be terminated without giving notice to the licencee. if notice is not received by you then you should challenge the termination of license before the appropriate authority. ultimately you can file a writ before the high court.
Thank you all for your amazing responses. I will try to go over little more details.
1. Correct that Termination of petrol pump license is admin action. I was asked to provide written statement on the variations observed (I solely ran pump with manager - hence my claim that "I did not know, will stand no grounds"). I provided explanations - but I believe they wanted to set an example starting by me. I understand the consequences I have got - which I challenged in High court but was dismissed based "not on merits" (I forgot court wording) which so I can challenge it in local court.
2. However, priority is stopping them taking over land. The regional manager and sales manager wants to give land to their known Service Agency and so they are contacting Collector and local police and bringing a High Court judgement to them "accurately marked with marker pen" so they only look at what the company officials wants to show.
3. One evening they came with just the termination letter and asked me to leave the property on which I have been operating since last 15 years - just like that. they started locking the doors office and tried to take over but I resisted, did not let them take over and filed petition in High Court (for which the verdict was not in my favor - still to pursue High court decision in local court on merits)
a. I have given them notice specifically on the grounds that "they operated ATM" in my property without my consent and took all the rent with them.
b. Also, selling CNG which is not the company product, created 3rd party interest and again no written consent taken by company. Just asked me to do it. and being the dealer - I didnt want to disappoint them, I did not say 'verbal no' to them.
So these are the grounds I sent notice terminating the lease. Also, filed petition in local court. However, even though the petition is in the local court, they are still using police pressure to which again I filed another petition "Status quo" so that no of us do anything on that land in District Court. Honorable Court ruled in my favor, next date in the local court is towards the end of the month but I suspect they will approach High Court, where I will file Caveat and I think this might go to Supreme court as well but to which I dont know if SC will even entertain this appeal. They desperately want to pursue as they cannot loose this land (Crores of rupees land for just 200 rupees rent per month) Also, there are tens of thousands of cases of poor land lands where Petroleum companies have not vacated land and bullied land lords. Land lords will always have limited resources to fight againts bigger corporation which is not really a government agency (all the petroleum MNCs are under petroleum ministers but are semi government agencies) hence, I want to pursue this legal battle on technical grounds. I have a very bright and very talented lawyer. However, side knowledge and good suggestions always helps in case if anything technical details is yet not used.
I thank you all again for your great suggestions.
Asked 7 months ago
1)thanks for your appreciation
2) even if company moves HC chances of success are bleak
1. The Petroleum Company did not comply with the terms of the lease agreement they have entered in to with you since they have opened an ATM counter at your premises and sold CNG also which was not mentioned as the product to be sold by the said PSU from your premises,
2. This is a good cause for seeking termination of your said lease agreement with them,
3. Since you have already got a stay order from the lower Court, it appears that the Court has found some merit in your argument,
4. Contest the appeal of filed by the Company before higher Courts fittingly,
5. It will be beneficial for you if you can gather all such land lords who have been victimised by the Company and file a joint petition against them seeking relief.