Mumbai: The longstanding rent dispute between the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Cricket Club of India (CCI) for the former’s office in Stadium House near Churchgate in Mumbai is expected to end with the two parties working out an out-of-court settlement, documents reviewed by Mint show.
The office on the sixth floor of Stadium House, adjacent to Brabourne Stadium, was IBA’s first office in the city and a few departments of the association, such as social banking and accounts, still operate out of there.
Around ₹2 crore of its total rental income of ₹2.7 crore in FY17, the latest year for which the balance sheet is available, came from the offices and shops in Stadium House, CCI said in its FY17 annual report.
IBA has been paying nominal rent to CCI and the cricket club now wants to renegotiate the terms, according to two people aware of the development. IBA is willing to buy out the floor but CCI is not ready to sell, according to one of the persons mentioned above.
The cricket club had filed a case against IBA, under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act in the Small Causes Court, Mumbai, on 28 November 2014. Since its first hearing on 5 February 2015, two orders have been passed. The case is scheduled to be heard again on 18 September.
“CCI may be willing to settle the matter on certain terms and conditions. CCI has informally informed IBA’s counsel that they propose to settle the matter subject to IBA willing to agree to certain terms of CCI,” IBA said in notes to accounts of its FY18 balance sheet.
Cheques issued from “financial year 2012-13 to 31 March 2016 were not encashed by CCI” and subsequently CCI had filed a writ petition against IBA to vacate the premises, the notes said.
“In this regard, IBA officials had informal meetings with CCI officials and, thereafter, rent payments alongwith property tax were regularised without prejudice to our rights and contention in the pending suit number 200 of 2014 against IBA in Small Causes Court, Bombay,” IBA said in the notes.
An email sent to CCI remained unanswered till the time of going to press.
IBA chief executive officer V.G. Kannan said that the settlement talks are on, but declined to disclose details of the revised agreement.
IBA has, since the dispute, constituted a working group to negotiate a fair rent with CCI. The group had its meeting with CCI on 4 March 2016 and stated that IBA needs office space and declined to vacate the premises. It rather preferred to enter into a negotiated agreement with revised rent at a fair rate. “The response from CCI is yet to be received. As CCI has not responded to IBA’s offer, case is in the Small Causes Court, Mumbai,” the note said.
IBA, which was formed on 26 September 1946 with 22 members, now has 237 members, including public sector banks, private sector banks, foreign banks, cooperative bank and regional rural banks.