Contempt of Court Petition Filed Against Oyo in Delhi High Court

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Contempt of court petition got charged against Oyo, its founder Ritesh Agarwal, and directors Rakesh Kumar, Anuj Tejpal in the Delhi High Court, for not submitting a list of its unencumbered assets.

Brief Facts of the Case 

On July 7, The Delhi High Court had asked SoftBank-backed Oyo, to file a list of its unencumbered assets within two weeks. This order came in effect to a case filed against Oyo, by hospitality company Anam Datsec. It cited non-payment of dues for its Golden Sands property in Calangute, Goa, and seeking over Rs 8 crore in damages. Anam Datsec had filed this petition, as OYO had failed to submit an affidavit listing its unencumbered assets. Besides the list, Oyo was also required to submit an affidavit to the registry in a sealed cover. 

Petitioner’s Contentions

The petitioner stated that OYO and its subsidiaries were about to send the list of unencumbered assets along with their reply. They had received the reply, a few days later, but the list was missing. When they reached out to Oyo over emails, they went unanswered. Thus, they moved the petition to the court, stated Akash Nangia. Akash Nangia was the director of Anam Datsec and founder of startups Techjockey.com, and SISL Infotech. Advocate Sameer Rohatgi had filed the contempt petition on behalf of Anam Datsec. He stated that Agarwal acts as a party, because of his role as founder and CEO of Oyo, along with other directors of the company.

Rohatgi added that the people in charge of the company had got to roped in when a contempt got filed. It was for them to appear before the court and respond. Anam Datsec had alleged, in its case against the company, that Oyo delayed the case. It failed to pay the least guaranteed amount of Rs 14 lakh per month for the property. They didn’t provide the necessary and accurate revenue statements. They also carried out sub-standard and hazardous construction on the property. Anam Datsec had previously stated that Oyo couldn’t hide behind the Covid-19 outbreak. It is because the defaults got discovered before the epidemic.

It alleged that Oyo did not add seven rooms, an elevator, and a swimming pool as agreed. These were besides the non-payment of dues. They did not furnish complete invoices against a payment of Rs. 7.8 crore that the petitioner had made for the additional construction. In June, New Delhi- based Pearl Hospitality and Events had taken Oyo to court. It charged non-payment of dues for exiting a property before the expiry of the lock-in period.

Respondent’s Contentions 

Oyo had stated that there was “no merit” in the contempt petition as it had already submitted the list to the court. An Oyo spokesperson said that the court didn’t issue any notice to the company or its directors, after the filing of contempt petition. The spokesperson further stated that Oyo had submitted all the required information in a sealed cover, in compliance with the honourable court orders. Thus, they stated that there was no case of contempt against Oyo whatsoever. Oyo informed the court that the dispute must be finally adjudicated by the arbitral tribunal as agreed by the two parties.

Court’s Decision 

The contempt petition and further case hearing would take place on August 20.


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