NDMC withdraws sealing notice on Le Meridien
The New Delhi Municipal Corporation on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it has withdrawn its yesterday’s notice sealing certain portions of luxury hotel Le Meridien, which was part of alleged illegal construction.
The court noted that the hotel will seek some documents and inspection reports of the premises from the NDMC. On receiving these documents, the hotel authorities would reply to the NDMC’s January 19 show cause notice which had said that the construction carried out in the commercial block of the hotel was a unauthorised” and without the prior approval of civic body.
Thereafter, the corporation could take action as per law, the court noted.
The matter had reached the high court after the hotel approached it against the corporation’s move to seal certain portions, including restaurant, banquet halls, gymnasium and other common areas. In a late development last night, the court directed it to de-seal the area as an interim relief.
During the day, Justice Rekha Palli was informed by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain that the NDMC’s February 21 sealing order be treated as withdrawn as it was passed without giving relevant documents, including inspection reports, to the hotel authorities.
Jain, however, opposed the hotel’s plea challenging the sealing action of the corporation and said the petition was not maintainable.
Senior advocate A S Chandiok, appearing for the hotel, said that after the January 19 show cause notice, they had requested the NDMC to provide them inspection reports and certain other documents based on which they had come to the conclusion that the hotel had carried out any unauthorised construction, but the corporation had refused to give them.
To this, the ASG submitted that the request for documents was overlooked and the sealing order was passed without giving the relevant documents. He said the corporation will now give the inspection reports to the hotel.
Yesterday, NDMC officials had said that 24 portions of the property were sealed, including 10 points in the commercial tower, 11 in the hotel block and three in the basement.
The court noted that the hotel was constructed in 1987 and after 30 years, a show cause notice was issued on alleged deviations or unauthorised construction.
“Do the byelaws say that you will straightaway go and seal the premises? Your officer said there was no need to intimate. Is this the manner a corporation will function,” it asked.
Jain said that a list of all the deviations was mentioned in the order given to the hotel.
In September 2017, NDMC had carried out sealing drive at the hotel’s commercial tower, which has 98 occupants. However, the tower was de-sealed after one of the occupants filed a writ petition in the high court.