'Consider negotiations to resolve conflict'

'Consider negotiations to resolve conflict'

The ITC Windsor Sheraton and Towers had challenged the decision of the single judge, who had upheld the decision of the Wakf Board, to proceed with the eviction of the hotel invoking the Karnataka Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupancy) Act and the applicability of the Act to it. It also sought an interim stay on the eviction proceedings.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice A S Bopanna suggested the parties to explore options of holding negotiations. As counsels to both the parties requested time to confer with their clients, the Court directed them to finalise whether they would be open to the possibility of mediation.

The parties have been told to respond by March 28. The Court has also directed the Wakf Board not to precipitate matters till then.

Earlier, Justice Nagmohan Das had held that the Wakf Board’s action to evict Windsor Manor was in accordance with law and the Board had the power to evict the lease holders under the KPP Act. The court had also directed the competent authority to complete the eviction proceedings within three months.

The petition by ITC Windsor Sheraton and Towers had challenged the constitutional validity of the legislation as well as proceedings initiated by the competent authority (estate officer) under the Act.