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Mantri Mall to Pay ₹20 Crore in Property Tax Arrears

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In a significant development, Mantri Mall has informed the High Court that it will pay ₹20 crore of its ₹41 crore property tax arrears by July 31, 2024. Consequently, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been directed to reopen the mall’s gates by 10 am on Friday, May 17, 2024.

Justice Jyoti Moolimani, presiding over the vacation bench, heard the writ petition filed by Girish Gupta, the official representative of Mrs. Abhishek Propbuild Private Limited Company, which operates Mantri Mall. The petition challenged BBMP’s action of locking the mall on May 10, 2024.

Senior lawyer Prabhulinga K. Navadagi, representing the petitioner, argued that the closure of the mall, which houses over 250 shops and employs around 2,500 people, was illegal and had resulted in substantial business losses estimated at ₹7 to 8 crore daily. He emphasized the disruption caused, especially to gold jewelry shops during the auspicious period of Akshaya Tritiya, and warned that tenants might sue the company and withhold rent payments.

In response, the company submitted a certificate to the court, committing to pay ₹20 crore to BBMP by July 31, 2024. The court acknowledged this and issued a conditional interim order, requiring the company to pay ₹3.5 crore to BBMP by June 1, 2024.

The case originated from BBMP’s action on May 10, 2024, when it locked Mantri Mall for the fifth time due to unpaid property taxes totaling ₹41 crore. The company challenged this action in the City Civil Court, which ordered that 50% of the outstanding tax be paid within 10 days for the mall to be reopened. Unsatisfied with this decision, the company approached the High Court, leading to the current directive.

High Court lawyer PL Vandana Reddy represented the company during the proceedings.

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