The Supreme Court (SC) has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on Khatri Hotels Private Limited — owner of south Delhi based pub-cum-restaurant Sahara — for encroaching DDA land in Vasant Kunj.
A bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice HL Dattu dismissed the hotel’s appeal challenging the Delhi High Court verdict, which upheld a trial court judgment declaring the disputed land as belonging to DDA and not the Khatri family.
SC declared that the hotel management had not approached court “with clean hands”.
Agreeing with the concurrent finding of subordinate courts, SC held that the litigation initiated by the hotel was an abuse of the process of law and an attempt to legalise the encroachment.
“In the result, the appeal is dismissed. The appellants have not only encroached on public land but also abused the process of the court. Of the Rs 5 lakh fine, Rs 2.5 lakh is to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within two months from today. The balance amount of Rs 2.5 lakh will be deposited with the Delhi State Legal Services Committee within the same period,” the bench ordered.
“If the hotel management fails to deposit the cost, the secretaries of the two legal services committees shall be entitled to recover the same as arrears of land revenue.”
The hotel management had claimed ownership of the land in Kishangar village near Vasant Kunj. Even as the litigation was pending before trial court, the hotel management started Sahara on the disputed land.