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NEW DELHI : Industry body Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) on Monday said it has been allowed by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to intervene on behalf of hotels in the OYO unit insolvency case before the tribunal. The association has filed the application on behalf of its member hotels in India, who are operational creditors and are suffering hugely on account of non-payments of debt by OYO, FHRAI said in a statement.

The tribunal has also allowed the FHRAI to make its oral submissions on June 2, 2021. The total claims registered with Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) against OYO are to the tune of 200 crore, it added. "As counsel for the applicant, we would like to clarify that there is no acceptance by the NCLAT for allowing interveners to file anything in writing.

Anything said to the contrary would be incorrect," Lexport Founder and Managing Partner Srinivas Kotni, the counsel for applicant Rakesh Yadav, who had filed the case against OYO in NCLT, said. Khaitan & Co Partner Jeevan Ballav Panda, who is representing former director of the suspended board of Oyo Hotels and Homes Pvt Ltd Anuj Tejpal before the NCLAT, said the applications seeking to intervene in the above appeal are yet to be heard, let alone being allowed and do not have any merit.

"The Hon'ble NCLAT also did not allow any written submissions to be filed by any intervener except only to make an oral submission to show why they should be allowed to intervene at all. FHRAI in any case, has no locus standi whatsoever," he added. The FHRAI has presently filed the application before the NCLAT on behalf of aggrieved hotels and restaurants across India who have filed their claims with the IRP, FHRAI Vice President Gurbaxish Singh Kohli said. In its application to the tribunal, the association has also pointed out that a number of matters by several hoteliers are pending before various courts against OYO, the statement said.

"OYO operates its business under a maze of more than a dozen subsidiary entities that have agreements with hotels. FHRAI has data of hundreds of such hotels that have reported payment defaults and other unethical business practices by OYO," FHRAI Jt Hon Secretary Pradeep Shetty said. Strongly rebutting the charges, an OYO spokesperson said, "This is consistent with the baseless and negative propaganda perpetuated by FHRAI to mislead the small hoteliers of this country.

This is especially surprising given the grim situation driven by Covid 2.0." "They are on purpose mis-representing the views and directions of the honorable courts of India. Given the matter is sub-judice, we have no further comments at this point," the spokesperson added. Earlier on April 8, OYO had said that the NCLAT had ordered a stay on the formation of a committee of creditors in proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code against its subsidiary OYO Hotels and Homes Pvt Ltd (OHHPL).

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