New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the sale of Park Hyatt Goa to ITC Ltd by Industrial Financial Corp. of India (IFCI), setting aside a Bombay high court order.
The court directed that the transfer of the property title be done within six months.
The apex court also asked ITC to move an application for any additional directions such as maintenance of status quo with respect to moveable property in Park Hyatt.
The judgment was pronounced by a bench comprising justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageshwara Rao, in an appeal moved by Blue Coast Hotels, original owner of Park Hyatt Goa, against an order of the Bombay high court.
The Bombay high court had quashed the sale of Hyatt to ITC by lender IFCI, after ITC emerged as the highest bidder of the property in February 2015 with a Rs515-crore offer.
A division bench of the Bombay high court had directed IFCI to refund the amount it received from ITC and had also permitted Blue Coast Hotels to retain physical possession of the property.
The Bombay high court had observed that a possibility of collusion between ITC and IFCI could not be denied in an auction where ITC was the sole bidder with a bid that was only Rs1,000 higher than the reserved price. Since there were no other bidders, the property did not fetch its potential market purchase price, the court had noted.
Blue Coast Hotels had argued that the price quoted by ITC was not even half the property value as the actual value of the property was around ₹ 1,250 crore and that there was some kind of collusion between IFCI and ITC.
Blue Coast had mortgaged its luxury 250-room hotel in Goa with IFCI against loan taken for its expansion programmes.
After Blue Coast Hotels defaulted on the payments, IFCI took possession of the property in June 2013 under the SARFAESI Act in June 2013 and put Park Hyatt on sale through auction.