Ravindran to mediate Wakf-Windsor Manor row

Following the suggestion of both the Karnataka State Board of Wakfs and the ITC Windsor Manor Hotel, the High Court has appointed former judge of Supreme Court Justice R V Ravindran as the mediator to resolve the row over eviction of the five star hotel.

The Division Bench comprising Justice Sreedhar Rao and Justice Suri Appa Rao had earlier directed both the parties to suggest a new name for an arbitrator, as Justice Shivaraj Patil refused to continue as one.

The court, on Thursday, appointed Justice Ravindran as the mediator after both the parties suggested his name.

Justice Shivaraj Patil, who was appointed the arbitrator by the Division Bench headed by the then Chief Justice J S Khehar returned the file after he was appointed the Lokayukta.

After tendering his resignation from the post, he was again appointed the mediator on December 8, 2011.

However, the arbitration is pending, as he declined to continue as the arbitrator in the case.

When the hotel sought to know from the Bench how much rent it had to pay the Board, it suggested that the hotel pay the existing ground rent per day, as is being followed at the Palace Grounds.

The High Court, under the Public Premises Act, had directed the authorities to continue with the eviction proceedings against ITC Windsor Manor located on the property of the Wakf Board in three months.

Moreover, the High Court had directed the hotel to pay Rs six lakh a month until the eviction process was completed. However, the ITC Windsor Manor claimed that the 99-year-old lease granted by the Wakf property was valid until 2063.

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