CHL added that the Delhi government failed to consider the cost and consequences of such orders on hotels in terms of resources like financial and manpower.
CHL, which owns and runs Surya hotel, has moved the Delhi High Court against the state government’s May 29 order, directing five luxury hotels, including Surya and Crowne Plaza, to be converted into hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients. Filed on Tuesday, the petition is scheduled for hearing on Thursday.
“Petitioner (Surya hotel) is filing the present writ petition seeking issuance of appropriate orders or directions or writ in the nature of certiorari or any other appropriate writ thereby seeking quashing of the order arbitrarily issued by the secretary (health and family welfare), government of NCT of Delhi,” the counsel for CHL said in the petition.
CHL, through its petition, stressed that the May 29 order had been issued in violation of the principle of natural justice without any legal backing.
“Government of NCT ought to have discussed future course of action with the stakeholders, as conversion of the hotel into a Covid hospital will affect the business (both present and future) of the hotel and its customers will be reluctant to stay in such a hotel. Therefore, any order violative of the fundamental rights is to be quashed,” the petition said.
CHL added that the Delhi government failed to consider the cost and consequences of such orders on hotels in terms of resources like financial and manpower. Also, it did not consider that hotels are designed to cater to healthy individuals and its service design is not built to serve people with health issues or who themselves are health hazards.
Another issue is that the hotel infrastructure is completely different from that of a hospital, like carpeting, air-conditioning, electrical/power backups, waste management, laundry and housekeeping, toilet facilities, etc, it added.
CHL had written a letter to the Delhi health secretary, Padmini Singla, on Monday, stating that Surya has already allotted 200 rooms for quarantine facility under the Vande Bharat Mission. The order, however, has come as a shock as it is without any form of consultation and is in complete ignorance of the principles of natural justice, it added.
The five hospitals are Batra Hospital, Indraprastha Apollo, BL Kapur Memorial Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital. These hospitals would help convert hotel Sheraton at Saket, Crown Plaza at Okhla Phase-I, Surya at New Friends Colony, Siddharth at Rajendra Place, and Jivitesh at Pusa Road into Covid-19 hospitals.
The court case against the Delhi government came after industry association, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI), on Tuesday urged Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia to reconsider their May 29 order, stressing that hotels are not equipped in terms of infrastructure to open such establishments.
Delhi is one of the most impacted states in India with high number of Covid-19 positive cases. As on June 3 afternoon, it had a total of 22,132 cases, including 9,243 recoveries and 556 deaths. On Tuesday, Kejriwal said the city had a total of 6,731 Covid-19 beds, of which 4,100 were vacant.