Decks cleared for Hotel Taj Mansingh auction after Supreme Court refuses to intervene
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) can go ahead with auctioning the Taj Mansingh hotel after the Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with a Delhi high court order permitting e-auction of the iconic five-star hotel.
The vacation bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar refused to accept the plea of Tata Group’s Indian Hotel Company Ltd (IHCL) that bid documents do not include that it should get weightage for its unblemished record in its dealings with the NDMC and its capabilities in running the hotel.
“If all the bidders are told that you will get weightage, then nobody will come forward and make a bid,” Justice Nageswara Rao told senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi. “We don’t want to interfere at this stage. You can come later.”
Permitting Singhvi and counsel Mohan Parasaran to withdraw the IHCL’s plea, the court said, “If after opening the bids, you are not given weightage, you can then come here.”
The IHCL approached the top court challenging a May 22 Delhi HC order permitting e-auctioning of the Taj Mansingh. The NDMC had on May 28 announced e-auction of three premium hotels, including Taj Mansingh, for a licence period of 33 years.
The last date for submission of bids for Taj Mansingh, with 292 rooms; The Connaught, with 85 rooms; and Hotel Asian International, with 38 rooms, is June 7 and the auctions will be conducted on June 19, 20 and 21 respectively.