The Mumbai Port Trust has served an eviction notice for all tenants of Metro House building in Colaba including the iconic Cafe Mondegar for criminal violations of the lease agreement.
The 7-page notice of termination of lease (a copy of which is with Mumbaiwalla) was served to the building lessee Metro House Pvt Ltd on November 19, 2014 through Mumbai Port Trust advocate JJ Jadeja.
All the present occupants have been given six months from the date of notice to peacefully vacate the property.
According to the notice, the lessee Metro House Pvt Ltd has flouted every possible term of the lease including multiple instances of illegal subletting and alterations, unauthorised constructions of mezzanine floors, lofts, installation of mobile towers – besides unpaid rent, service tax and interest.
Of over 100 tenants in the building, 23 are illegal and have also been sent copies of the notice. These include Hardcastle Restaurants (which operates a Mc Donalds outlet on the premises), Hotel Regal Plaza and Metro Shoes.
The violations by Metro House Pvt Ltd apparently took place over a period of nearly two decades. The notice also seeks recovery of penalty and arrears amounting to Rs 1.64 crore.
“We have served a notice terminating the lease of Metro House,” Mumbai Port Trust chairman Ravi Parmar confirmed to Mumbaiwalla. “After the 6-month notice period expires, we will start eviction procedure. This is a criminal proceeding under Law of Contract for which police can take action.”
Several other lessees of Port Trust property across South Mumbai that are similarly involved in private profiteering and illegal subletting have also been served notices.