In a major blow to the Tata Group, the Supreme Court on Thursday morning allowed the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to auction capital’s iconic Taj Mansingh Hotel. As reported by the news agency PTI, the Supreme Court has asked NDMC to give at least six months time to the Tata Group firm to vacate the hotel if it loses out in e-auction. The hotel was being run by Tata Group unit Indian Hotel Company Ltd (IHCL), in the heart of the national capital.
The decision was taken by the bench comprising of Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman that allowed the plea of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) which reportedly stated that Tata Group firm cannot have the right to refusal in the auctioning of the hotel. The court also said that the “blemish-free” record of Tata Group firm IHCL may be taken into account by NDMC while auctioning the iconic property.
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Earlier, on 3rd March the civic body had told the Supreme Court that it wants to e-auction the hotel and the court had asked IHCL to file objections if any on the matter. In response, IHCL had reportedly written that it was not clear why NDMC wanted to auction the property as it was giving the best possible revenue. According to PTI, the company had also said that NDMC experts report suggests that the council would ‘lose revenue’ if the hotel was auctioned to other players.
On November 8, 2016, IHCL moved the apex court in response to the verdict given by the Delhi High Court on 27th October. Back then, the high court dismissed IHCL’s petition challenging the move by the NDMC to auction the property. Before this, even the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that he wanted an open auction of the Taj Mansingh Hotel.
(with inputs from PTI)