NDMC moves HC to withdraw assurance to not press eviction proceedings against Le Meridian
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response of C J International, which runs the Le Meridian hotel here, on a plea by the New Delhi Municipal Council to withdraw the assurance the NDMC had given earlier to not press the eviction proceedings against the firm.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked C J International to indicate its stand on the next date of hearing on May 22.
Appearing for the Council, senior advocate Sanjay Jain said that the civic body had given the assurance in September last year believing that the issue would be decided soon.
However, despite several hearings the matter pertaining to the eviction was still pending and the firm, whose licence was terminated, continued to enjoy the property without paying licence fee arrears of over Rs 600 crore, Jain said.
The Council, in its application moved through central government standing counsel Akshay Makhija, said it wanted to withdraw the assurance and had also sought a direction to the firm to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 600 crore towards the unpaid arrears of licence fees.
The Delhi government had cancelled Le Meridien’s licence in March 2017.
The licence fee was sought under an order passed by the Council against the hotel in 2001 by invoking the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971. According to the hotel, it had paid all licence fees due under the order.
The Council had also ordered sealing of the corporate tower of the hotel and had also prohibited it from accepting any future bookings until it paid all licence fee dues.