New Delhi: Fast food chain Nirula`s has got relief from a local court which set aside the eviction order of its outlet at Delhi University terming it as "mindless".
"I accept the appeal and set aside the impugned eviction order reserving liberty to the University to initiate fresh eviction proceedings in accordance with law," District and Sessions Judge AK Chawla said while setting aside the order passed against Nirula`s by the estate officer on a complaint by the varsity.
The order of the court came on an appeal filed by Nirula`s Corner House Pvt Ltd whose Vice President J S Grover and Director Amit Chadha were issued show cause notice by the estate officer.
The court noted that the complaint seeking eviction was made by the varsity against Nirula`s Corner House even when the agreement dated October 23, 2002, giving licence for 10 years to run a family restaurant was executed among DU and Nirulas Hotels and Restaurants Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nirulas Corner House Private Ltd.
"In the complaint, the respondent University has sought eviction of an unauthorised occupant `M/s Nirulas Corner House`. Is this M/s Nirulas Corner House, a legal/juristic entity, one wonders? From where has this `Nirulas Corner House` surfaced, one fails to understand completely.
"Interestingly, complaint proceeds on the premise that the agreement in respect of the subject premises was entered into between the varsity and M/s Nirulas Corner House," it said.
Questioning the show cause notice issued to Grover and Chadha, the court noted that DU`s agreement was with Nirulas Hotels and Restaurants, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nirulas Corner House, which is a juristic entity and it was this entity which was running the restaurant from the premises and not its vice-president or director in individual capacity.
It said the notices "cannot be said to be notice to the occupants of the premises who are meant to be evicted."
The court observed that the varsity had recklessly
proceeded to initiate eviction proceedings and the estate officer has taken the proceedings to be an eyewash as it noted that he had failed to pass any reasoned order.
According to the facts of the case, on October 23, 2002, an agreement was executed among the varsity and Nirula`s, giving licence for 10 years in respect of `Day Centre Cafeteria` for running a Nirula`s family style restaurant.
On expiry of the licence on October 12, 2012, Nirula`s was asked to stop business activities of the restaurant and vacate the premises. A request of extension made by Nirulas was denied by the University.
On being issued interim show cause notices, Grover and Chadha filed their replies saying they were not privy to any agreement with DU and notices served upon them were illegal and unwarranted. They also said they had approached the varsity for renewal of agreement in July, 2012, for another 10 years but were asked to vacate the premises.
The company representatives made a fresh proposal, offering to pay double the earlier amount to DU, but were refused on the ground that they were not empanelled with IRCTC.
They contended there was no policy requiring running of day centre cafeteria only by those empanelled with IRCTC and that, if, any policy was formulated later, they were not informed about it.
It also submitted that they later got themselves empanelled with IRCTC but as most of the DU colleges were having their canteens run by private contractors which were not empanelled with IRCTC, they should have been allowed renewal on grounds of natural justice.