Mumbai’s Iconic ‘K Rustom Ice cream Parlour’ Loses Case Against CCI

– Told To Vacate CCI-owned Premises In 2 Months –

K Rustom and Company, the iconic, family-run, 84-year-old ice-cream parlour, based in South Mumbai (Churchgate), known for its legendary ‘ice-cream sandwiches’, recently lost a case against its landlord, the Cricket Club of India (CCI), in the Court of Small Causes. However, K Rustom has decided to fight a long legal battle to ensure it doesn’t have to pull its shutters down.

Last week, the Small Causes Court in Mumbai ordered K Rustom and Company to vacate its premises at the North Stand Building, part of the Brabourne Stadium, within two months. The decision resulted from a suit filed in 1996 by the Cricket Club of India (CCI), the owner and the landlord of the premises under dispute. which comprises 3,070 square feet and a mezzanine floor of 950 square feet. The family has indicated they would be filing an appeal against the order.

CCI submitted that they were landlords of the said property under the Bombay Rent Act and that the Club required the premises for its activities, in keeping with the substantial increase in the number of members over the last 14 years. It said that it wants to start a coffee shop at the suit premises for its members as the current one at CCI is insufficient.

The CCI also submitted that a substantial portion of the premises were not in use by Rustom. CCI claimed that it was being paid a monthly rent of Rs 527 per month, ‘far below the standard rent’. Rustom contended that this is an “incredible” statement as it does not mention the payment of electricity and water charges. It was also submitted that Rustom has been a tenant of the suit premises prior to the declaration of the Second World War “when premises were freely available” in Mumbai. Rustom also denied that a portion of the premises is not in use and said that both the ice-cream shop and a shop selling readymade clothes were working full time. It also said that it has no other premises to do business and will be out on the streets if asked to evict the premises.

“It is already held that the plaintiffs (CCI) have proved that the suit premises are reasonably and bonafide required by the plaintiffs for their personal use for club activities and no hardship will be caused to the defendants (Rustom) if the decree of ejectment is passed in favour of the plaintiffs therefore, they are entitled to recover quit, vacant and peaceful possession of the suit premises,” Judge S B Todkar, Court of Small Causes, said in the order.

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