Delhi’s prestigious landmark, the Tata-owned Taj Mansingh hotel is to be auctioned, as per PTI reports. The Ministry of Home Affairs of India has indicated an auction that is to be held soon by the New Delhi Muncipal Council (NDMC).
According to reports, Taj Mansingh which stands invincible on Mansingh road of Central Delhi was supposed to have been auctioned two years ago. Mansingh Road is situated within the NDMC area and The Ministry of Home Affairs is the administrative authority of NDMC. The Ministry has already issued a show-cause notice for the delay. A senior Ministry official said, “So far, the NDMC has not sent any reply, implying that it has nothing to say. So, we will soon give a directive to the NDMC to start the process of conducting the auctioning immediately.” The property of Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), Taj Mansingh was given to IHCL on lease for 33 years by NDMC. The lease already came to an end in 2011 and the Ministry of Urban Development intervened and asked NDMC to auction the property, which was apparently not done. Instead, a one year extension was given to IHCL, which also ended in October 2012.
IHCL approached Delhi High Court to seek a stay in the process of auction. Unfortunately their plea was refused by the honorary Court. However, IHCL managed to get an assurance that if NDMC takes steps for vacating the premises, the company can take legal recourse.
According to PTI report, IHCL has been denied the first right of refusal in the upcoming auction. “In the auction, the IHCL may not get the first right of refusal as that will result in a lower bid in the auction,” the Home Ministry official said. On which Tata Group Company approached the Solicitor General to seek opinion, which PTI reports, has annoyed the Ministry.
Although the property belongs to NDMC, IHCL has indeed invested a great deal of money and efforts in the hotel building. Therefore, the company is constantly opposing the decision of the Ministry of treating them as just another licensee, which can be replaced at the end of a term.