AAI says Airport Centaur sale by Batra Hospitality is illegal

On the issue of transferring the lease agreement to the new owner, the sources say a view will be taken only when a request for the transfer is made. “We may not be inclined to transfer the lease agreement to the new owner.“

Further, if it were to agree to the transfer, the new owner — Sahara India — will not be given the same deal as was extended to Batra Hospitality. The sources say AAI had agreed to lease the land to Batra Hospitality for 30 years at fairly low rates on the insistence of the divestment ministry, so as to sweeten the deal. “Now that Batra Hospitality has sold the property, AAI will seek higher rentals.“

Disinvestment ministry sources, too, say they were kept in the dark about the transaction. The ministry has decided to seek details of the sale from Batra Hospitality.

Batra Hospitality of the AL Batra group sold the Centaur property to the Sahara group for Rs 115 crore, making a gain of Rs 32 crore on amount it paid the Hotels Corporation of India in June 2002 to acquire the five-star hotel.