HC refuses IHCL plea against Taj Mansingh Hotel auction

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a suit by the Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), which runs the iconic Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi, seeking to restrain the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) from auctioning the property.

Justice V Kameswar Rao did not accede to IHCL's request for renewal of licence for a further period saying it was not entitled to the extension.

"In view of the discussion above, and the request of the plaintiff (IHCL) for renewal of licence for further period has not been acceded to and noting that the plaintiff has no right seeking renewal or grant of licence for further period and the decision of the defendant (NDMC) to go for auction, the plaintiff is not entitled to extension of licence as claimed in the suit," the court said.

The property, owned by NDMC, was given to IHCL on a lease for 33 years. The lease had ended in 2011 and the company was given nine temporary extensions since then on various grounds with three of them being in the last year itself.

NDMC had in January this year said it was in the process of assessing the assets of the hotel in preparation for the much-delayed auction of the property.

IHCL had approached the high court seeking a decree of permanent injunction restraining the NDMC from interfering in any manner with the possession, right to operate, run and maintain the hotel premises at the prime location of 1, Man Singh Road in New Delhi.

It had also sought a direction restraining the NDMC from conducting an auction for running the hotel premises in Lutyen's Delhi.