High Court Provides Temporary Relief to P&M Mall in Patna

P&M Mall of Patna.

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Patna: Patna High Court on Tuesday stayed legal proceedings against Bihar's first real mall in Patna directing the plaintiff, Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA) in this case, to submit all relevant papers to the court before it decides the fate of the mall.

Patna: Patna High Court on Tuesday stayed legal proceedings against Bihar's first real mall in Patna directing the plaintiff, Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA) in this case, to submit all relevant papers to the court before it decides the fate of the mall.

Owned jointly by noted film-maker Prakash Jha and Manmohan Shetty, the P&M Mall is on the verge of closure almost five years to the date since it opened its door much to the delight of the Patna'ites in April 2011. According to a complaint by BIADA, the mall failed to pay Rs. 2.60 crore in circle rate to the government of Bihar resulting in the cancellation of its lease agreement.

A single bench comprising Justice Jyoti Saran gave the temporary relief to the mall saying no step could be taken against it until May 5 when the matter once again comes up before the court.

According to Bihar Industry Minister Jai Kumar Singh, the mall owes Rs. 2.60 crore in circle rate of 10% for sub-leasing shops to third parties.

Mall General Manager Ashok Aditya said that while it was true that the mall owners had agreed to pay 10% of the circle rate, that is, difference in the rent after sub-leasing to third parties, the mall had already paid Rs. 40 lakh towards this payment but the government first allocated it to the regular lease and when the mall management raised objection to it, BIADA returned this money to the management and began proceedings to cancel the lease of the mall.

Aditya further said that the BIADA was calculating the arrears by going back to 2009 but the mall did not open until 2011 and the agreement on circle rate was not reached until 2012.

"By going as far back as 2009, BIADA has come up with the number of R.60 crore whereas when calculated from 2012, it comes only to Rs. 40 lakh which was duly paid to it," the General Manager said.

Built in an area of 58,300 square feet, the mall boasts of more than 100 shops representing many national and international brands of merchandise. It also features a exotic food court and a multiplex, the first of its kind in Bihar.

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