NDMC communicates to SC its decision to auction Taj Mansingh Hotel
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New Delhi: The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) informed the Supreme Court on Friday its decision to auction Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi.
“We have taken a decision to hold an e-auction. We will decide the date once this court permits us,” additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain told the court.
In an earlier hearing, the apex court had asked NDMC to reconsider its decision as the Tata group-owned Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (IHCL) had moved the apex court against a Delhi high court’s ruling allowing the auction of Taj Mahal Hotel.
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 court had granted IHCL two weeks to file its objections to NDMC’s stand.
“E-auction is akin to right of first refusal for all practical purposes. So their issue is taken care of,” Jain told the court.
IHCL had approached the Delhi high court first in April 2013, seeking to restrain the NDMC from auctioning the Taj Mansingh Hotel after a committee declined to renew the licence in its favour for 30 years.
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 at 1 Mansingh Road.
The original licence operated for a period of 33 years from late 1976 and concluded in 2011. Thereafter, several ad hoc extensions were granted till 31 January.
IHCL claimed that the original licence agreement—with NDMC as the licensor and IHCL as the licencee—later became a joint venture with two equal partners; the high court rejected this claim.
The case will be heard next on 22 March.