SC allows NDMC to auction of Tata-run Taj Mansingh hotel

SC allows NDMC to auction of Tata-run Taj Mansingh hotel

SC allows NDMC to auction of Tata-run Taj Mansingh hotel

Ending a year-long battle over the lease agreement of iconic Taj Mansingh, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed civic agency New Delhi Municipal Council or NDMC to e-auction the five-star hotel.

Earlier, the civic body, which looks after areas pertaining to Lutyens' Delhi, also conducted the e-auction of Asian Hotel through MSTC, which resulted in more than 15 times increase in the licence fee, which used to be Rs 3 lakh per month earlier.

The IHCL had challenged the Delhi High Court's October 27 order dismissing its plea against the auction of the property by the NDMC. IHCL, which runs the Taj Mansingh Hotel in the national capital, had on November 8 a year ago approached the apex court against the Delhi High Court order which had paved the way for auctioning of the iconic property.

A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman allowed the plea of NDMC that IHCL can not have the right to refusal in the auctioning of the hotel. The announcement was made following a special meeting of the NDMC's top decision-making body.

IHCL had last November approached the apex court against the Delhi High Court order, which had paved the way for auctioning of the historic property. The High Court, however, gave a green signal to the NDMC to go ahead with the public auction of the hotel.

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"We respect the decision of the Supreme Court and intend to participate in the e-auction when it is held". "We are evaluating the options", the source said.

IHCL had on November 8 a year ago approached the apex court against the Delhi High Court's order that cleared the decks for auctioning of the iconic property.

NDMC and IHCL had entered into an agreement in 1976 to construct and run a five-star hotel in one of the prime locations in central Delhi, 1 Mansingh Road.

The NDMC had earlier said it was in the process of assessing the assets of the hotel in preparation for the much-delayed auction.

The Taj Mahal Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel in Delhi. "To put it pithily, IHCL (which runs the hotel) has no right under the licence for a renewal thereof and therefore no further issue needs to be considered and decided", the court said.

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