SC orders Oberoi Group to vacate Shimla's Wildflower Hall by 2025

Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expresses satisfaction over apex court's verdict

Wildflower Hall resort (photo: Tales Of Shimla/Facebook)
Wildflower Hall resort (photo: Tales Of Shimla/Facebook)
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PTI

A two-decade legal battle between East India Hotels (EIH) of the Oberoi Group and the Himachal government over Wildflower Hall Luxury Hotel has ended with the Supreme Court upholding a Himachal Pradesh High Court order and directing EIH to vacate and hand over possession of the hotel to the state government by March 2025.

Hailing the verdict, chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the apex court's verdict, a statement issued in Shimla said.

Sukhu attributed the "favourable" decision to the meticulous efforts of the state government in effectively pleading the case by engaging renowned lawyer Mukul Rohatgi.

"The outcome of this verdict reflects the government's steadfast dedication to protect the interests of Himachal," he said.

The Oberoi Group has been in possession of the prestigious property near Mashobra, Shimla for the last several years. Now, the Supreme Court has ordered it to vacate the property within a year, Sukhu said.

A single bench of the Himachal High Court consisting of justice Satyen Vaidya had passed an order on 17 November 2023, permitting the state government to take over the property. The government immediately took control of the hotel.

However, the high court later stayed its order after EIH filed an appeal, and directed the government not to interfere in the day-to-day function of the hotel. The review petition of EIH, however, was rejected by the high court on 5 January 2024, with directions to vacate the property within two months.

The Supreme Court has now upheld the judgment of the high court and asked the EIH to surrender possession to the government by March 2025.

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