The matter related to ownership of the Golf Course at Golf Links here is presently under litigation as the Shillong Club Ltd has moved a special appeal in the Meghalaya High Court against the earlier orders passed by the Court of the Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner, Shillong and the First Appellate Court.
The Shillong Club Ltd has instituted a Title Suit being T.S. No. 13 (T) of 2013 before the Court of the learned Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner, Shillong, for declaration, permanent injunction and other consequential reliefs. The dispute pertains to a landed property of about 10.91 acres situated at Golf Links, Shillong.
The Shillong Club Ltd claimed that it is a lawful lessee in respect of the property and holds the property under a valid perpetual lease deed. It also said that Nathaniel Thangkhiew or any of his agents, associates or representatives have no right to disturb the peaceful possession of the property, or any portion thereof, by the Shillong Club Ltd in any way and by any means whatsoever.
In due course, the trial court took up the suit for hearing and eventually, vide the judgment dated December 23, 2015 had dismissed the suit.
Being aggrieved by the dismissal, the Shillong Club Ltd then moved an appeal before the First Appellate Court being registered as T.C.A. No. 1 (T) 2015. The First Appellate Court had accordingly taken up the hearing of the matter and finally, on conclusion of the arguments by the parties, has vide order dated October 5, 2023 dismissed the appeal.
S Jindal, the lawyer for the Shillong Club Ltd in his special appeal before the High Court had stated that on the basis of the judgment passed by the Appellate Court, Thangkhiew had informed the Rangbah Shnong of Golf Links where the land in dispute is situated with the intention to take over possession of the same without following due process of law.
According to Jindal, there are substantial issues of law involved which would allow the High Court to exercise its jurisdiction, particularly under Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and some of the probable substantial questions of law.
The lawyer sought an interim stay order by the High Court of the judgment passed by the First Appellate Court, considering the fact that there is also a possibility of a law and order situation.
On October 12, the High Court bench of Justice Wanlura Diengdoh admitted the second appeal filed by Shillong Club Ltd after giving due consideration to the submission made by the club’s lawyer and also after perusing the judgment of the trial court as well as of the First Appellate Court respectively.
The High Court observed that there are issues of law which are required to be answered. It also passed an interim stay on the judgement of the First Appellate Court.
“The issues of law suggested by the appellant appear to be relevant for consideration in due course,” the High Court said.
The substantial questions of law raised are whether a First Appellate Court can grant relief to the respondent (Thangkhiew) in the appeal in the absence of a counterclaim/cross-appeal and whether the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 have no application over the tribal areas of the State of Meghalaya in view of the operation of the Assam Frontier Tracts Regulation, 1880.
The High Court also gave an opportunity to Thangkhiew to respond to the interim order of stay by filing a suitable application for alteration or modification of the same.
Meanwhile, during the hearing held on October 20, Thangkhiew’s lawyer Cyril H. Mawlong informed the High Court that a Miscellaneous Case has been filed and requested that he be allowed to file a fresh application for vacating the stay order passed by the court on October 12.
While granting his plea, the High Court directed that the interim stay orders shall continue.