In one of the biggest decisions yet in a case that has been grabbing headlines for quite a while, NCLT has restored Vikram Bakshi as Managing Director of Connaught Plaza Restaurant, which runs McDonald’s restaurants in north and east. Bakshi’s sacking from Connaught Plaza Restaurant has been termed as illegal, unjust and mala fide by the tribunal. The tribunal has also appointed Justice G S Singhvi, former Supreme Court judge, as an administrator in Connaught Plaza Restaurant with power to vote.
Announcing its decision, the NCLT bench headed by president justice M M Kumar said, “The status of Mr Vikram Bakshi as Managing Director of CPRL is restored.” It added, “He (Bakshi) shall continue to act as Managing Director of CPRL subject to passing of any resolution under the Chairmanship of the administrator.” CPRL, which is a joint venture between McDonald’s India Pvt Ltd (MIPL) and Bakshi, is the licensee and takes care of operations in the north and eastern parts of the country of the US fast food chain.
Vikram Bakshi was in loggerheads with the US based fast food chain company on the issue of the management of CPRL. McDonald’s India in its public notice on August 30, 2013 had said, “Vikram Bakshi has ceased to be the Managing Director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants pursuant to expiration of Bakshi’s term on July 17.” Bakshi however contested the decision saying he cannot be removed as MD of the company through a general meeting, PTI report said.
McDonald’s had opened its first outlet in the country in 1996. As per Indian Express, India was the first country where the company decided to serve only non-beef or non-pork items”. In India, the brand is managed by two business entities. Company’s stores in North and Eastern parts of the country are taken care of by Connaught Plaza Restaurants, while the stores of South and West India are managed by by Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Limited, which is owned by businessman Amit Jatia.