August 2, 2018 4:58:02 am
The Counsel appearing for Bennett Coleman and Co Limited (BCCL) on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that the flats in Pearl Residency in Prabhadevi that it has leased are used for residential purposes for the employees of The Times of India and not for commercial purposes.
The court was hearing a petition filed by five residents of Pearl Residency, a 27-storey building in Prabhadevi, against a hospitality company and flat owners for allegedly leasing out 32 apartments and giving the residential premises the “identity of a hotel”. The petitioners have alleged that out of the around 100 flats in the building, only 12 to 15 were being used as residences.
The petition alleged that the operations of Siesta and the licencees of five flat owners, namely Bennett Coleman and Company Limited, “are a huge nuisance to the said society… there have been instances of guests… disturbing residents in the middle of the night”.
BCCL counsel Vijay Hiremath sought time from the court stating that they were served with the notice only on Tuesday. Hiremath told the court that the flats are used for residential purposes for employees of The Times of India.
“The flats are not used by any friends or there are no parties held in the premises. It is only for the employees who are traveling all around the country to cover sensitive news. We don’t charge them for stay or food and so there no trading activities,” Hiremath told the court.
Justice S J Kathawalla directed BCCL to produce its agreements, the register maintained and invoices on the next date.
The court has adjourned the matter to August 8, to Siesta Service Limited, the hospitality company, to file an undertaking stating that it would vacate the flats from where the company is allegedly running a hotel business. It also asked 15 flats owners to file affidavits, stating that they will not give their apartments under leave and licence agreements for similar purposes.
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