Indian Hotels Company on Thursday said it intends to participate in the e-auction for the Taj Mansingh property, which the Tata Group firm has been running for decades. The Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) had on November 8 last year approached the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s order that had cleared the decks for auctioning of the iconic hotel in the heart of the national capital.
It suffered a setback on Thursday with the apex court allowing civic agency New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to e-auction the property. “We respect the decision of the Honourable Supreme Court and intend to participate in the e-auction when it is held. We stay committed to our colleagues and guests, whose loyalty and trust remains our biggest asset,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.
A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman allowed the plea of NDMC that IHCL cannot have the right to refusal in the auctioning of the hotel. The bench, however, asked the civic body to grant six months “breathing time” to the company in vacating the hotel in case they lose out in the e-auction.
The apex court also said that the “blemish-free” record of the Tata Group firm may be taken into account by NDMC while auctioning the iconic property. The civic body had on March 3 told the apex court that it wants to e-auction the hotel.
The property, owned by NDMC, was given to the IHCL on a lease of 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 granted last year itself.