A Delhi high court has brought great relief to star and heritage hotels across the country. The HC judgment says the Centre cannot deny such hotels capital subsidy if the tourism ministry was responsible for delaying their classification after becoming operational.
The court said such an act was sheer injustice as hotels would have spent huge amounts on refurbishment in anticipation of the capital subsidy. The Centre annually comes up with subsidy schemes, which applies to star and heritage hotels.
Justice S Muralidhar found merit in the argument of lawyer Ambar Qamaruddin who represented the petitioners — four Rajasthan hotels denied subsidy on this ground —that “it was the tourism ministry, which delayed the classification and hotels cannot be made to suffer”.
The court said the hotel owners fulfilled essential requirements under the scheme dated December 7, 2007 under which they had applied. “The only reason given by tourism ministry for rejecting their applications was that the classification of their hotels was not completed prior to 31st March 2008... This was not a factor in the control of the applicant hotels,” the court said.