The Delhi High Court has given the green signal to NDMC's plan to construct a world-class multiplex before the Commonwealth Games in place of Chanakya cinema.
A possible legal hurdle was cleared when the court dismissed a petition by Aggarwal and Modi Enterprises—who ran the cinema for 44 years—contending they wished to redevelop the theatre and continue operations but were kept out by NDMC "through an illegal closed bid tender system".
Rejecting their plea to direct NDMC to order a public auction, the judges imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on them, which they will have to pay to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.
“NDMC, by following the two-bid system, has attempted to ensure there is real competition between the best qualified firms so that world-class infrastructural facilities can be created…this petition is without any merit," a Bench of Justices Mukul Mudgal and Manmohan said.
The company's lawyers argued NDMC violated its own Act by floating a global tender and inviting only reputed developers.
They said the Supreme Court, while refusing to stay the High Court order asking them to vacate the premises, had asked the NDMC to give them the first option to bid for the construction and operation of the multiplex.
According to sources, over 25 firms have already bid for the redevelopment of one of the hottest pieces of land in the centre of Delhi's diplomatic enclave.