May 22, 2018

Supreme court allows e-auction of Taj Mansingh

21 April 2017, 12:56 | Melvin Schneider

Tata Group's petition rejected SC allows NDMC to e-auction Taj Mansingh hotel

Taj Mansingh hotel

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, permitted the New Delhi Municipal Council to e-auction the Taj Hotel on Mansingh Road in the capital following the expiry of the licence granted to the Tata group to run the hotel.

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 New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) had sought the court's permission to auction the hotel.

The court passed the order on a plea of IHCL seeking direction to NDMC to renew its lease and restrain it from auctioning the property.

IHCL had roped in Senior Advocate Harish Salve to champion their case in the Supreme Court, who had effectively got the auction stayed in November a year ago. 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.

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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.

"We have taken a decision to hold an e-auction".

It had noted the fact that the opinions of both top law officers against the auctioning of the hotel was not placed before the Ministry of Home Affairs for consideration. "IHCL will be allowed to participate in the bid and also match the highest offer, " additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain told the court today. It is not a matter of right.

Indian Hotels has to pay a rent of ₹1 crore every year on the leased land but the Mumbai Port Trust has been demanding the rent be doubled to ₹2 crore a month.

On 27 October 2016, a division bench denied IHCL's claim to right of first refusal on the auction to bring the highest bidders to the table. The ASG said all preparations for e-auction had been done and the process could be initiated within a fortnight. After the lease expired in 2011, the company was granted nine extensions, but it went ahead and moved court against the auction.

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