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Bengaluru: Clear 50% tax dues before mall can open, said Court to Mantri

The court directed the BBMP to 'remove all hurdles and allow the Mantri Square mall, shopkeepers, employees for their free ingress and egress', only after the dues are paid.
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 21:48 IST
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 21:48 IST

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Bengaluru: In a setback to the Mantri Group, the City Civil Court on Wednesday ordered them to first pay 50per cent of the property tax arrears within 10 days before the mall can open.

The court directed the BBMP to “remove all hurdles and allow the Mantri Square mall, shopkeepers, employees for their free ingress and egress”, only after the dues are paid.

The Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge passed the judgment after hearing the petition filed by Abhishek Propbuild Pvt Ltd, which is an offshoot of Mantri Group, which manages the mall in Malleswaram.

Hearing both parties, the judge disposed of the petition on Wednesday on two conditions — the BBMP should open the locks to the mall, provided the owners pay 50 per cent of the tax arrears in 10 days; and the petitioners (Mantri) should pay the remaining 50% per cent by July 31.

As of May this year, the mall owes property tax amounting to Rs 52 crore to the civic body. The mall management will, however, benefit from the state government’s one-time settlement scheme offered to all tax defaulters, wherein they waived the interest and penalty. This would likely reduce the arrears by Rs 12 crore.

The BBMP has locked the mall premises eight times, but the mall authorities have obtained a court stay in seven of those instances during the last two years. The BBMP sealed the building again on Akshaya Tritiya last Friday, when there is a very high footfall.

Senior BBMP officials said the civic body was frequently shutting down Mantri Square mall as the management did not pay property tax for the past four years.

“When the total station survey was conducted, we also found some differences in the figures given under the self-assessment scheme. The arrears were (therefore) very high,” an official said.

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Published 15 May 2024, 21:48 IST

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