Taipei-based youth organization faces rent of about NT$50 million

Taipei--The Taipei-based China Youth Corps has lost a lawsuit against the National Property Administration and needs to return a Taipei building in which the organization's headquarters are located and pay rent for the use of the building, according to a final court ruling on the building's property rights.

The Supreme Court upheld Friday a ruling by the Taiwan High Court in January 2016 that the group should return the part of the Chih-Ching Building, which it has been using, to the government, and should pay monthly rent of about NT$760,000 (US$24,466), backdated to Aug. 5, 2011, representing a total of about NT$50 million.

The National Property Administration filed a lawsuit against the China Youth Corps, accusing it of illegal occupation of part of the Chih-Ching Building, but it lost the lawsuit in the first ruling by the Taipei District Court in December 2013. The government agency appealed the case.

In the first ruling, the court determined that the China Youth Corps had the legal right to use the building and acquired part- ownership of the building, local media reported.

The China Youth Corps has argued that it is not affiliated with any government agency and that it spent money to build the structure with two other organizations. It said it had been unable to acquire the status of an aggregate corporation and was unable to register as the owner of the building at the time.

In this situation, the ownership of the building was registered as the "Republic of China," it explained.

Even though the building belonged to national properties, the China Youth Corps said that it was a renter and that the rental relationship with the government remains unchanged, arguing that the government has no right to ask it to move out of the building.

However, the National Property Administration argues that the China Youth Corps was established in 1952 under the Ministry of National Defense and in 1969, became a government organization directly under the jurisdiction of the Executive Yuan.

Since then, the youth organization has operated under the instruction of the Ministry of Education and thus, the ministry agreed to let the group use the building free of charge, the National Property Administration said.

Now that the group has become an aggregate corporation, not working under the instruction of the government, it should return the property to the government, according to the National Property Administration.

The group should return the areas of one to five floors, as well as the first and second basements of the building, and should pay rent, it has argued.

In the second ruling over the case, the Taiwan High Court ruled in favor of the National Property Administration. Noting that the youth group failed to present any solid evidence on the right to use the building, it thus determined that the group has been illegally occupying the building.

The High Court also ruled that the China Youth Corps must return the building to the government and pay the backdated monthly rent.

The Supreme Court upheld the decision in its final ruling Friday.

However, the China Youth Corps said that day that it had not been notified of the verdict and declined to comment further.

The organization, the original purpose of which was to provide combat training for youths through summer camps, is now dedicated to organizing recreational and educational activities for young people.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel