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Merely getting relief from the court as presently sought may not constitute sufficient relief for the plaintiff : Delhi High Court

Court truly holds the highest power when it comes to justice and it has the right to provide relief to parties as it deems appropriate. This was held in the judgment passed by a single judge bench HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE JAYANT NATH, in the matter of ALOK KUMAR LODHA V. ASIAN HOTELS (NORTH) LTD [CS(COMM) 189/2020], dealt with an issue where the petitioner filed a petition seeking a decree of declaration that the license in favor of the plaintiff in respect of the shop/premises in Hotel Hyatt Regency Delhi, New Delhi is irrevocable and perpetual and the purported revocation of the license by the defendant is illegal, void and bad in the eyes of law.

A decree is also sought for declaration declaring that the plaintiff has unfettered right to occupy and use the said premises under the irrevocable license till the documents of transfer are executed by the defendant. Other connected reliefs are also sought.

Plaintiff as part of the Asian Games, the Hyatt Hotel was launched subsequent to allotment of land under a lease deed by DDA. It was a part of an initiative to create 5-star iconic property with high end hospitality. a license agreement was executed by the plaintiff and the defendant company that regulated the terms of occupation of the plaintiff for the shop in question situated in the defendant hotel. The agreement was to be renewed periodically every five years. It is the case of the plaintiff that under the agreement valuable consideration was transferred being Rs.8.47 lakhs which was paid for the subject shop. There was no further additional payment or premium payable by the plaintiff. It is stated that the interest in the property was perpetual, permanent and irrevocable in law. Plaintiff found that to the utter shock and surprise of the plaintiff a revocation of license notice was served during the ongoing pandemic and amidst the lockdown.

The defendant raised an objection that the suit is not maintainable in view of section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. With the consent of the parties, the Co-ordinate Bench heard learned counsel for parties on the issue of maintainability of the suit as also the interim injunction application.

The Division Bench set aside the said judgment in its entirety including prima facia findings of interest or rights of the parties. The matter was remanded back.

After hearing both the parties The Hon’ble Delhi High Court allowed the petition and held that the proposed amendments are bona fide. The proposed amendments are necessary and proper for complete adjudication of the dispute between the parties. In the absence of such additions to the plaint the plaintiff would not be in a position to get full relief as is being sought. If the plaintiff were to succeed this court would pass appropriate declaration declaring that the plaintiffs have rights in the property/have an irrevocable license in their favor. However, if any such relief is granted by this court, it would be otiose in view of the fact that the property already stands mortgaged to the proposed defendants.

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Judgement reviewed by – Vaishnavi Raman

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