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Civil Court issues a stay-order on Vilimale’ buggy service

Malika Shahid
02 September 2022, MVT 16:37
[File] Buggy service provided in Vilimale'
Malika Shahid
02 September 2022, MVT 16:37

Civil Court has issued a stay order after Male’ City Council orders to halt buggy transport service in Vilimale’.

City Council had asked to vacate the land leased to 99 Holdings, which operates buggies.

Imprint was contracted to provide buggy services in Villimale' on June 17, 2013, the company had transferred the work to 99 Holdings on January 16, 2014.

Although 99 Holdings has been providing buggy services for the past eight years, Vilimale' Council member Nahula Ali has said that citizens of Villimale' expressed their displeasure over the company's failure to provide the service according to the agreement.

Therefore, the council passed to terminate the agreement on buggy services on August 17.

99 Holdings was ordered to vacate the allotted land within seven days to which the company sought an interim injunction directing the city council not to do so. The company said the council had failed to provide routes and stops required by the agreement for vehicle services, stating that the councils determination to terminate the contract was contrary to its purpose and against the law.

99 Holdings said that the service should be provided as per the agreement only if the council established a separate route with vehicle stops and the agreement signed with the company on June 5, 2018 should be respected as the company is providing services despite the council not fulfilling their obligations according to the agreement.

The company also sought an order for the council to maintain the agreement with the company to build and operate a guest house.

Therefore, an interim order was sought, saying that if the buggy service is stopped, the company and the customers will suffer a huge loss. It also said that the company's employees would lose their jobs and benefits under the agreement without any negligence on 99 Holdings part and if the vehicles were to be grounded, they would become unusable and reinvestment would be required.

According to the agreement signed between the company and the Ministry of Tourism on June 5, 2018, a guest house has already been built on the land with an investment of MVR 18 million. If the property is considered to be Male' City Council's, the cost of investment, jobs of employees, and income from the property will be lost.

As the guest house is run on advance bookings, if a situation arises where they have to compensate the tourists, the company is likely to go bankrupt.

For those reasons, the judge concluded that the damage to the company outweighed the damage to the council if the interim order was not granted. Therefore, the court ordered the council to defer implementation of the letter sent to the company on August 25 and not to implement any of the provisions of the letter until the court decides on the case.

The council decided to cancel the agreement with 99 Holdings after they failed to build a ticketing terminal and vehicle parking area of 1,077 acres on two plots provided by the council.

The council has met the company several times and issued several notices but the service has not been improved.

The council had decided to cancel the agreement and start public transport services in Vilimale' in an environmentally friendly manner.

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