The New Delhi Municipal Council (MHA) has got the green signal from the ministry of home affairs to take the solicitor-general's opinion on the sticky issue of auctioning the Taj Mansingh hotel.
The ministry had earlier issued a showcause notice to the council for not auctioning the property even two years after its lease had expired. The current lease expires in October.
The MHA had raised concerns that the 'provision of the first right of refusal would result in a lower bid in the public auction' and had pulled up the body for referring the matter to the solicitor general.
"After receiving the MHA letter, we will now write to the solicitor-general's office, seeking his advice on the matter," Mishra said. The council, presided over by chief minister Sheila Dikshit, had decided to refer the matter to the solicitor general in June.
The Delhi High Court had in April asked the NDMC to respond to Tata group's plea, seeking to restrain the land-owning agency (NDMC) from auctioning the property on which the hotel is located.
The court had given Tata's Indian Hotels Company (IHC), which manages the property, permission to approach the court if any coercive steps were taken against it by the NDMC.
In its plea, IHC had submitted that it manages the property on which the hotel stands and pays a revenue-share fee to the NDMC.
IHC had entered into a 33-year lease for using the property in 1978, which ended in October 2011 and was extended by another year till October 10, 2012.