Millennium Post

High Court to pronounce verdict on challenge to Taj Mansingh auction

Delhi High Court is likely to pronounce its judgement on Thursday on a plea by Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), which runs the iconic Taj Mansingh Hotel here, against the auctioning of the property by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

A Bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani had on October 24 reserved the verdict on IHCL’s plea in which they have challenged the single judge order dismissing their suit seeking to restrain NDMC from auctioning the property.

The single judge, in his September 5 judgement, had not acceded to IHCL’s request for renewal of licence for a further period saying it was not entitled for the extension.

“In view of the discussion above, and the request of the plaintiff (IHCL) for renewal of licence for further period has not been acceded to and noting that the plaintiff has no right seeking renewal or grant of licence for further period and the decision of the defendant (NDMC) to go for auction, the plaintiff is not entitled to extension of licence as claimed in the suit,” the single judge had said in its verdict.

The property, owned by NDMC, was given to IHCL on a lease for 33 years. The lease had ended in 2011 and the company was given nine temporary extensions since then on various grounds, with three of them granted last year itself.

NDMC had in January this year said it was in the process of assessing the assets of the hotel in preparation for the much-delayed auction of the property.

IHCL had approached the single judge bench seeking a decree of permanent injunction restraining the NDMC from interfering in any manner with the possession, right to operate, run and maintain the hotel premises at the prime location of 1, Man Singh Road in Lutyen’s Delhi. It had also sought a direction to restrain the NDMC from conducting an auction for running the hotel premises.
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