Banquet Hall moves Delhi HC against decision to convert it into temporary COVID hospital

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New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): The Lavanya Banquet Hall in the national capital has moved the Delhi High Court challenging Delhi government's decision to convert it into a temporary COVID-19 treatment hospital. The plea, filed by a company named Ready Mint Pvt Ltd, has challenged the Delhi Disaster Management Authority's order dated June 12 whereby the banquet hall owned by the petitioner was requisitioned for being converted into a temporary COVID treatment hospital. The petition came up for hearing today before a bench of Justice Prathiba Singh, who recused from hearing the matter, and listed it before another bench for hearing on Friday. The company is being represented by advocate Sunil Dalal and its petition has been filed through advocate Sondhi Narula Dalal. The plea sought to quash government order dated June 12, directing the company to grant possession of its Lavanya Banquet Hall for use as a COVID treatment facility and also provide facilities like house-keeping, disinfection, catering, etc. The company said that the government has taken the decision without any consultation with the petitioner and without any due-diligence of the property to ascertain its suitability for being used as a temporary hospital. The petitioner company has also sought to award the cost of the present proceedings in the favour of the petitioner and against the respondent government. "The order also does not take into account the fact that the petitioner (Ready Mint) is already constrained financially as there has been no business for over two months and none expected in the near future," the company said in its plea. "In such dire circumstances, the Petitioner is being expected to personally shell out the cost of house-keeping, disinfection, catering, electricity, maintenance, generators, protective gear including PPE kits, masks, gloves, etc," it added. The plea said that the conversion of the Banquet Hall into a COVID hospital will result in the property being stigmatized thus ensuring the closure of business in the future. It also said that the government, while taking decisions, also does not take into account the fact that most of the petitioner's workers have left for their native places and the labour markets in Delhi have already shrunk. As such it will be virtually impossible to abruptly hire new skilled labour for managing fire and electricity fixtures, disinfection, catering, house-keeping, etc, the plea said. It also said that the workers expected to be deployed do not have specialized medical training to be able to protect themselves from infection. (ANI)