HP High Court stays government proceedings for possession of Oberoi’s Hotel Wildflower Hall
Shimla, Nov 18
The proceedings initiated by the State government to take possession of the 500 crore worth Oberoi group 5- star hotel Wildflower hall has been stayed by the HP High court, so far till 21 November, when the matter is listed again. Deciding on the pertaining to a OMP by EIH Limited and other versus State of HP and other, Justice Satyen Vaidya ordered a stay on the possession taking proceedings of the State government. “In this view of the matter, further execution of order dated 17.11.2023 (Annexure A-2) shall remain stayed till further orders. It is clarified that the respondent State shall not interfere in the day to day management and possession of the hotel,” stated the court order.
Senior advocate R. L. Sood, with Arjun, Lall and Aakash Thakur, Advocates, presented the case for the applicants. They moved court with stating, “Clarify that the directions as contained in paras 35 read in conjunction with sub para 1 of para 38 of the impugned order dated 17.11.2023 do not permit or authorize the State of H.P. or any of its officials to take possession of the Hotel Wildflower Hall, Chhabra Shimla, or to interfere in the peaceful possession, use, occupation, running and management of the hotel. “ Adding” Restrain the respondent State from interfering in the peaceful use occupation and possession of property known as Hotel Wildflower Hall, Chhabra, Shimla and order status quo ante to 17.11.2023 in respect of the possession, use, occupation, running and management of the hotel.”
On the other hand Anup Rattan, Advocate General with R. K. Negi, Additional Advocate General and Rajat Chauhan, Law Officer, presented for the non applicants. They submitted that the State has engaged senior advocate Dhruv Mehta and he not immediately available. The state sought permission of the court to either allow appearance through video conference or list the matter for 21 November.
“…Being a Saturday and a non-judicial working day at around 2.45. pm and hence it will not be possible to hold the hearing of the case today by allowing Dhruv Mehta, Senior Advocate to represent through video conferencing. List the matter on 21.11.2023,” directed the court.
“ This Court while deciding the objections of the parties vide order dated 17.11.2023 has specifically required the State to reveal its option whether the
State intends to resume the property by taking its possession in terms of the award or not,” stated the court order. Adding, “ The State has been granted time for such purpose till 15.12.2023 but the State officials are stated to have taken action by issuance of executive order dated 17.11.2023 and as a consequence thereof have initiated action by visiting the hotel premises in the morning of 18.11.2023 i.e. today. Since the executions petitions filed by both the sides are still pending before this Court, the Award passed by the learned Arbitrator has to be executed in terms of the directions passed by this Court and not by the parties themselves. In this view of the matter, further execution of order dated 17.11.2023 (Annexure A-2) shall remain stayed till further orders. It is clarified that the respondent State shall not interfere in the day to day management and possession of the hotel,” concluded the court.
Noteworthy that this morning the Himachal Pradesh Government, after winning a legal battle against the International Hospitality Oberoi Group, had initiated proceedings to take possession of the five-star property Wildflower Hall at Charabra, situated on the outskirts of this capital town.
According to information, HPTDC Director Mansi Sahay has been posted as the administrator of this property, and AGM Anil Taneja has been posted as OSD. Early this morning, HPTDC and district administration teams rushed to Charabra with a heavy police force.
Empower Independent Journalism – Join Us Today!
We’re committed to unbiased, in-depth journalism that uncovers truth and gives voice to the unheard. To sustain our mission, we need your help. Your contribution, no matter the size, fuels our research, reporting, and impact.
Stand with us in preserving independent journalism’s integrity and transparency. Support free press, diverse perspectives, and informed democracy.
Click [here] to join and be part of this vital endeavour.
Thank you for valuing independent journalism.
Vishal Sarin, Editor