The Supreme Court of India
In an interesting turn of events, the Siliguri-based hotelier that challenged NCLAT’s clean chit to Oyo, has sought an extension of the hearing from the Supreme Court, citing a settlement with the company it says is “in works”. However, Oyo’s counsel said there is “no settlement in the pipeline”.
The apex court has now adjourned the matter for two weeks and it will be up for hearing again on September 24. The issue was heard before a two-judge bench consisting of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice JK Maheshwari.
“The respondent had asked us not to press the appeal,” Ramchandra Madan, the advocate appearing for Siliguri’s Central Courtyard Resort told the judges, adding that they were reached out to by Oyo for an amicable settlement.
“I sought two weeks’ time so that a resolution could be explored,” he further told Moneycontrol.
However, Oyo’s counsel refuted that the company was up for a settlement.
Moneycontrol has reached out to Oyo for comment and will update when it responds.
We reported on September 12 that the Siliguri-based hotelier had challenged the NCLAT order in the SC and the hearing was scheduled for September 13.
The matter dates back to 2019 after Gurugram-based hotelier, Rakesh Yadav, accused Oyo Hotel and Homes (OHHPL) of defaulting on payments and violating an agreement that required it to operate and maintain the hotel under the Oyo brand.
In March 2021, the NCLT admitted a plea for corporate insolvency proceeding against OHHPL following his complaint.
It also appointed advocate Keyur Jagdishbhai Shah as the interim resolution professional (IRP), besides asking other creditors of the company to submit their claims as well, in keeping with the insolvency code.
Even as this happened, Oyo was quick to challenge the order in the NCLAT.
Following this, the NCLAT halted the formation of a committee of creditors (CoCs) given that Oyo appealed that a demand draft of Rs 16 lakh, the pending amount claimed by Yadav, was issued to him under protest.
But the court had not stayed the corporate insolvency resolution process, which meant that other aggrieved hotel owners could still submit their claims.
Multiple hotels including Central Courtyard Resort filed their claims against the company and according to sources, the aggregated claimed amount was close to Rs 160 crore. However, in a major disappointment for the hoteliers in July, the tribunal gave a ruling in favour of Oyo disallowing the intervention of these hoteliers.
Central Courtyard Resort has challenged this judgement in the apex court and is seeking a settlement of Rs 37 lakh from Oyo — where pending dues amount to Rs 28 lakh, the rest of the money includes tax and legal costs.