IRCTC is absolute owner of Maharaja Express: HC
New Delhi: Holding that railways PSU IRCTC is
the "absolute owner" of luxury tourist train Maharaja Express,
the Delhi High Court has set aside its earlier order to the
state enterprise to run it jointly with UK`s travel firm Cox &
Kings as an interim measure.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and
Justice Siddharth Mridul set aside the court`s single-judge
bench order, saying it is of "prima facie view" that the
interim arrangement was not justified and legally sustainable.
"This is the prima facie view we hold, (that) it is
difficult to make interim arrangement and pass an order in the
nature of mandatory injunction directing continuation of the
earlier arrangement which has been terminated by IRCTC. After
all, it is to be borne in mind that the IRCTC is the absolute
owner of the train in question and the said train belongs
exclusively to IRCTC," the division bench observed.
The court also brushed aside the Cox & Kings (C&K)
counsel argument that it should be allowed to run the train
jointly with Indian Railway catering and Tourism Corporation
Ltd as the train had earned worldwide reputation due to the
efforts of the travel agency.
"Maharaja Express has earned worldwide name and is one of
the premier luxury trains in the world tourism. No doubt, that
is true. However, that would not mean that C&K has acquired
indefeasible right to run this train. Purpose can be served if
the train runs as usual but by the IRCTC on its own or with
the aid and addition of some other party," the court added.
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