Delhi

Owner of hotel which denied room to Kashmiri businessman granted anticipatory bail

The owner of a hotel in Jahangirpuri that had denied a room to a Kashmiri businessman earlier this year, was granted anticipatory bail by a local court.

Rakesh Kumar, the owner of Hotel Pleasant Inn, fearing arrest by the police, approached a local court in Rohini with an application for anticipatory bail, which was granted on May 20 by Additional Sessions Judge Shivaji Anand.

The background

On March 24 this year, Faisal, a businessman from Jammu and Kashmir, uploaded a video on social media that showed him talking to the receptionist of the hotel. Mr. Faisal had booked a room at the Hotel Pleasant Inn there through the Oyo mobile application but was not allowed to check-in.

In the video, shot by Mr. Faisal, the receptionist can be heard denying him a room because his identification documents were from Jammu and Kashmir. The receptionist tells Mr. Faisal that this was being done as per the “directions of the police”.

However, the police quickly denied that they had issued any such directions. The police registered an FIR based on a complaint from the Delhi Minorities Commission. Soon after the controversy, the hotel-booking platform Oyo delisted the hotel from its platform.

‘Misunderstanding’

Advocate Pradeep Khatri, appearing for Kumar, argued that the entire incident was a result of a purported “misunderstanding”.

Kumar’s counsel submitted that Mr. Faisal had made the booking through the app, which was confirmed. But on the day he was checking in all available hotel rooms were already occupied. He added that the Kashmiri man subsequently offered the only vacant room in which did not have functional air conditioning.

Kumar said that the guest had misunderstood the situation and become angry, which had resulted in the police lodging the FIR.

The additional public prosecutor for the State argued against granting the relief to Kumar, saying that the CCTV footage showed the hotel receptionist conversing with the complainant. 

ASJ Anand noted that since the CCTV footage had already been recovered by the police, there was no need for police custody. Thus the court directed that Kumar be released on bail, in the event of his arrest, on a personal bond of ₹25,000 and one surety of the like amount.

The court also directed Kumar not to tamper with any of the evidence or try to influence any witnesses. It also asked him to share his live location with the Investigating Officer as and when requested. 


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Printable version | Jul 6, 2022 5:11:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/hotel-owner-who-denied-room-to-kashmiri-businessman-granted-anticipatory-bail/article65453750.ece