Taj hotel auction in legal tangle as Tatas move high court
The proposed auction of Delhi’s iconic Taj Mahal Hotel has once again landed in a legal wrangle, with current owner, the Tata Group-owned Indian Hotel’s Company Ltd (IHCL), challenging the procedure in Delhi high court.
A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla on Thursday heard arguments on behalf of IHCL and the New Delhi Municipal Council, which is conducting the auction, and reserved its order. IHCL argued that the bid conditions finalised by NDMC had failed to take into account the order passed by Supreme Court on the matter in April 2017.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the bench that the Supreme Court had asked NDMC to consider the good track record of IHCL’s 33-year association with the property while taking a final call on leasing the hotel, but NDMC’s conditions didn’t reflect these. IHCL also questioned the revenue sharing model in the tender document prepared by NDMC and argued that the civic agency stood to lose money if the auction went through.