Subhash Chandra, Rajya Sabha member and promoter of Zee Media group, has reportedly rented out a bungalow to the Chinese Consulate in Mumbai for a period of two years. , a real estate news website functional since December last year, the deal was registered with the registration office in Mumbai on July 1, 2020, while the paperwork was carried out on June 29.
Before that, on June 15, Chandra had constituted power of attorney to one Bhaupatil Arote to carry out the leave and license work. Accordingly, on June 29, the deal was signed between Bhaupatil Arote on Chandra’s behalf and Huang Xiang, the vice-consul for the Consulate General of The People’s Republic of China in Mumbai. The rent period has come into effect from July 1 onward and it stands at Rs 4.90 lakh per month.
Varun Singh, founder of Square Feat India which broke the story, copies of the registration paper of the agreement and the constitution of power of attorney by Subhash Chandra to Bhapatil Arote.
The property is located in Jolly Maker 1 in South Mumbai's Cuffe Parade, one of the richest housing societies in India. As per , the society comprises two 25-storey towers and 10 bungalows.
Describing the bungalow, the real estate portal reported that with a carpet area of 2,590 sq ft, the ground floor has a living room, and a kitchen; the first floor has three bedrooms and one children's bedroom; and the second floor has one bedroom. The Chinese Consulate will also get to use two covered parking spaces.
The bungalow can be used by the Chinese Consulate for residential purposes only, the website reported.
The deal stipulated a lock-in period of nine months. To terminate the agreement, each party has to give three months’ notice.
However, as it involves diplomatic interests, the agreement included a special clause to factor in any adverse situation in the future. Accordingly, it states, “If any decision taken by the Government of the People’s Republic of China or the Government of the Republic of India results in the closure of the office of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Mumbai at any time during the term (including the Lock-In-Period), the agreement shall stand terminated.”
As advances, the Chinese Consulate paid Subhash Chandra a sum of Rs 58.80 lakh via a cheque. The amount included advance rent for nine months and a refundable deposit of Rs 14.70 lakh.
Square Feat India noted that attempts to obtain a response from Subhash Chandra as well as the Chinese Consulate remained unsuccessful. Newslaundry also reached out to Chandra via text and phone call. This piece will be updated if a response is received.
Interestingly, the developments came at a time when India was engaged in a bloody border standoff with China last month. Following the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley, tensions ran high between both countries. Several news channels, including Chandra’s Zee News, turned it into a nationalist war-cry, on primetime television while running campaigns that urged viewers to . Perhaps different rules apply when it comes to reportedly renting out a bungalow, though.
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