The Tata Group on Monday moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s order that allowed a Delhi municipal body to go ahead with the auctioning of the iconic Taj Mansingh Hotel here.
The HC had dismissed the plea of Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), Tata Group’s hospitality arm which has been running the five-star hotel at Mansingh Road for 33 years. IHCL has sought renewal of licence on grounds of the equity investment it had made in the property.
The HC had held that the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) was “within its power” to secure maximum consideration for grant of licence for the property in the Lutyen’s Delhi and the IHCL had no right under the licence for a renewal thereof.
The property, owned by NDMC, was given to IHCL on a lease for 33 years, which ended in 2011. The IHCL has been managing the property since then through several extensions. The municipal body had entered into an agreement with the IHCL, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, in December 1976 to construct and run the eleven-storey hotel.
NDMC has also last week issued eviction notice to IHCL and asked it to “clear all applicable dues and handover the possession of the said property immediately.”
Number of prospective bidders have lined up to bid for the five-star luxury property. Domestic hotel chains include Bharat Hotels, EIH, Hotel, Leela, ITC, Neesa Leisure, etc and global contenders include Four seasons, Accor, Intercontinental, Wyndham, Hilton, Marriot, Starwood, Hyatt, Carlson and Kezidor, etc.
After expiry of the IHCL’s licence in 2011, a committee of senior government officials was set up to look into the company’s proposal for a 30-year extension to manage the hotel. However, the council decided to opt for a public auction of the hotel despite the earlier assurance in 2012 that an extension would be granted.