Chronicle’s of theTAJ hotel-

From its construction to auction the saga –

On the site of the old Fonseca Hotel stands, the iconic hotel at 1 Man Singh road, New Delhi. The 23-room Fonseca metamorphosed into 300-room five-star icon of luxury -the TAJ-and thus started the journey of capturing hearts and minds to battering controversies. Now the high court order defines what was once signed.


During partition many people left behind all their possessions and property to avoid the violence and flee to their new country.

During those very Partition days  J E D Fonseca was provided the lease of hotel Fonesca at 1 Mansingh road by its owner.
J E D Fonseca lived till 1970 and trans-ferried interest of 1 Mansingh property to Spences hotels and Mr.A.K. Johar sometime in 1968 -however director of estates was taking steps to acquire the property.

After Partition, as per law all “evacuee property” came under director of estates.


In between all this hullah bullah comes in Indian Hotels-IHCL(company owned by TATA)  that agreed to buy out lessees valued at Rs 25 lakh from Spences hotels. And after acquiring it demolished the Fonesca hotel to build TAJ.


NDMC stopped new construction work on 1 Man Singh road


Lawfully, Government hands over 1 Man Singh property to civic body -New Delhi Municipal Corporation.

A deal was then signed on October 10, 1978 which allowed NDMC to say they leased out the property to IHCL for 33 years and up came -The luxurious 11 storey hotel-THE TAJ!!!


NDMC gets into discussions with IHCL to renew the lease for the next tenure, a year before expiry.
but some six months before the expiry of the lease, and in keeping with the guidelines of the Delhi Master Plan, the Urban Development Ministry suggested NDMC to carry out an open bidding auction to renew the lease.


October 10, the lease expired.

In great haste NDMC renews the lease for another year. Since then, the NDMC has been extending the lease for fixed periods.


•The property by NDMC, was given to Indian Hotels Company Limited in 1978 on lease for 33 years. The controversy started in 2011 when the lease ended. The civic agency was set to renew it, but had to postpone the matter as the Union Urban Development Ministry suggested auctioning of the property.
“When an auction can be done in two months, then why is NDMC extending the lease for another year, was the then opposition BJP question in 2012 for yet another extension given.
•Urban ministry cried foul on extension been given. An NDMC note written back to urban ministry and reviewed by Mint in 2012 stated that ministry suggestion was not in accordance with the agreement between NDMC and IHCL, which is a legally binding document.

IHCL knocks the door of HC
 2016,October 27

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court gives nod to auctioning of its iconic Taj ManSingh property by New Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Plus, IHCL will also not get the benefit of ‘Right of First Refusal (ROFR) when its owner, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), auctions it, said the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

‘Right of first refusal’ would have entitled IHCL to enter into negotiations with NDMC for a fresh contract, first.

2016, November 09

Indian Hotels Company ltd has moved the supreme court against the auction of Taj Man Singh Hotel

 2016, Today

•Why a lease agreement between a civic body and a corporate party is given weightage over law?
•Why urban ministry lawful suggestions are overruled time and again?
•Why when the lease license was signed in another time, another period and under another act the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911 and now when that licensee has exercised option, further extensions or renewals of the license were even given a thought?
•Why civic bodies are unable to follow laws and policies and are able to provide reasons for renewing lease deeds?
•Why a leasee was able to walk away with nine renewals when it should not have been entitled to even one?

Is it situations, circumstances, emotions or is it just relations? the thought continues-