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The Delhi High Court has ruled that it's not necessarily unfair to offer government employees discounts on golf course membership fees. This decision came during a hearing for a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by athlete Mahendra Kumar Mohanty, who was concerned about the difference in membership fees for government and private employees at the Qutab Golf Course in Mehrauli, which is managed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
Golfers and Advocates Weigh In on Delhi Court's Government Employee Discount Ruling
“A simple disparity in the fee structure, providing concessions to government employees, does not automatically translate into arbitrariness,” the court said.
The court stated that simply having different membership fees for government employees and private individuals doesn't automatically make it unfair. It's common in society to have varying pricing structures in clubs and recreational spaces, and this isn't necessarily arbitrary. The court explained that as long as there's a logical reason for the difference, it's in line with constitutional principles.
Qutub Golf Course
The court noted that the variation in fees is based on differences in income and resources between government employees and private individuals. They also emphasized that the maintenance of golf courses requires significant resources, leading to higher fees. The court rejected the argument that these facilities are only for elite government servants.
“It is crucial to recognise that the sport in discussion – golf – demands meticulous and regular maintenance of its courses, which undeniably requires substantial resources. These upkeep necessities inevitably lead to the levy of high membership or user fees," it said.
The court clarified that the fixed membership charges are not arbitrary but aim to balance offering high-quality amenities and ensuring proper maintenance. They emphasized that even though the DDA is a government body, it still needs to generate revenue through membership fees to maintain the golf course and provide top-notch facilities to its members.
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