NDMC gets ready to auction Taj Mansingh

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Indian Hotels Company today said it intends to participate in the e-auction for the Taj Mansingh property, which the Tata Group firm has been running for decades.

Although the court allowed the civic body's plea that the Tata Group firm can not have the right to refusal in the auctioning, it asked NDMC to grant six months' "breathing time" to the IHCL to vacate the hotel in case they lose out.

IHCL had initially moved the Delhi High Court in 2013 seeking to restrain the NDMC from auctioning the Taj Mansingh Hotel after a committee declined to renew the licence in its favour for 30 years.

The Supreme Court (SC) on 20 April 2017 approved the e-auction of Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi.

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The court had earlier asked IHCL, which challenged a Delhi high court order allowing the hotel's auction, to file objections, if any, within a week.

After NDMC refused to re-new the lease and chose to go for auction of the property to fetch a better price, IHCL approached court challenging its decision.

IHCL had roped in Senior Advocate Harish Salve to champion their case in the Supreme Court, who had effectively got the auction stayed in November a year ago.

The company had submitted that NDMC expert report suggests that the council would "lose revenue" if the hotel was auctioned to other players.

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On 27 October 2016, a division bench denied IHCL's claim to right of first refusal on the auction to bring the highest bidders to the table.

It though asked NDMC to keep in mind and consider the good track record of its 33-years of association with the company while taking a final call on granting lease of the property. However, the council made a decision to opt for a public auction of the hotel despite the earlier assurance in 2012 that an extension would be granted. They were given nine extensions after the contract with the New Delhi Municipal Corporation ended in 2011.

The NDMC had earlier said it was in the process of assessing the assets of the hotel in preparation for the much-delayed auction.

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