Laxmi Vilas hotel Case: Rajasthan High Court Adjourns Hearing Till Monday
Tourists sit at a restaurant in the City Palace of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Laxmi Vilas hotel Case: Rajasthan High Court Adjourns Hearing Till Monday

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The Rajasthan High Court adjourned till Monday the hearing into the pleas seeking quashing of FIRs against former Union minister Arun Shourie and four others in connection with the sale of Udaipur's Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel two decades ago.

The accused had approached the High Court after a special CBI court issued arrest warrants against them last month.

The High Court had earlier stayed the arrest warrants but told them to furnish bail bonds and sureties in the trial court.

The matter was listed for today but due to lack of time, the High Court adjourned hearing into it till Monday 2 p.m., said Nishant Bora, a counsel for one of the accused.

Meanwhile, the CBI court too adjourned hearing into the matter till Nov. 5 as the accused sought more time for arguing the case.

One of their counsel said the presiding officer of the CBI court, Puran Kumar Sharma, granted their prayer and adjourned the hearing till Nov. 5.

On Wednesday, Arun Shourie had denied any irregularity in the sale of the public sector India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.'s Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel to a private firm during the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The property was sold to Bharat Hotels Ltd. for Rs 7.52 crore when Shourie was the minister in charge of disinvestment in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre.

During a preliminary investigation by the CBI, the property was valued at Rs 252 crore, suggesting a loss of Rs 244 crore to the exchequer.

The other accused in the case are former disinvestment secretary Pradip Baijal, MD of Lazard India Ltd. Ashish Guha, MD of Bharat Hotels Ltd. Jyotsana Suri and hotel's valuer Kantilal Vikamsey.

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