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NDMC moves to evict Le Meridien over non-payment of Rs 523 crore

The NDMC had cancelled Le Meridien’s licence in March over non-payment of fees amounting to Rs 523 crore. The council has now moved court for an eviction order.

delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2017 19:51 IST
Ritam Halder
Ritam Halder
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,NDMC,Le Meridien
In March this year, the council decided to act against Le Meridien over non-payment of licence fees pending for three decades.(HT FILE)

A little over four months after the New Delhi Municipal Council cancelled the licence of Le Meridien hotel over alleged non-payment of dues, the council has moved the estate officer’s court for an eviction order.

According to a senior NDMC official, this is the next course of action under the public premises act (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants Act) 1971.

The estate officer’s court, which is designated by the Delhi Lieutenant Governor, will conduct the hearing that could take four to five months.

“They will seek the hotel’s comments, hear arguments and ultimately pass an order. If the order goes against any party (the hotel or NDMC), they can appeal within 12 days at the district court,” the official said.

The NDMC had earlier ordered action against four of its officials over alleged irregularities in the recovery of dues that the five-star hotel owed the civic body.

HT had earlier reported how the civic body in its report to the ministry of home affairs recommended major penalties against the officials. In March this year, the luxury hotel’s licence was cancelled by the NDMC over non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs 523 crore.

The four have been accused of lowering the dues amount by diluting a formula (to calculate dues) ordered by high court. The four officers mentioned in the report are the then director estate, one deputy director estate, a senior accounts officer and a senior assistant. According to a senior council official, a committee — including chief vigilance officer, director vigilance, director personnel, secretary, financial advisor and director estate — conducted the internal probe.

In March this year, the council decided to act against Le Meridien over non-payment of licence fees pending for three decades. “The dispute has been going on since 1982. Till date, the total amount owed by them has accumulated to around Rs 523 crore. Now, in accordance with the Public Premises Eviction Act-1971, the matter is being referred to the NDMC estate officer and the hotel has been declared as an unauthorized occupant. The estate officer will take the final call in this regard,” he said.

A spokesperson for Le Meridien, when contacted, said, “The matter is sub judice, so we would not like to comment on it”.

First Published: Jul 20, 2017 13:40 IST