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IRCTC is Absolute Owner of Maharaja Express: HC

Jan 11, 03:05 PM

IRCTC is now the sole operator of the luxurious train Maharaja Express. The Delhi High Court has set aside its earlier collaboration with Cox and Kings. Read on to know more…

Now Indian Railways PSU IRCTC is the “exclusive owner” of the luxurious train Maharaja Express. The Delhi High Court has put aside its earlier order to the collaboration of the state enterprise and UK’s travel giant Cox and Kings.

A divisional bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri put aside the Delhi High Court’s single-judge bench order mentioning it as “prima facie view” that the management was not legally sustainable and not justified.

"This is the prima facie view we hold, (that) it is difficult to make interim arrangement and pass an order in the nature of mandatory injunction directing continuation of the earlier arrangement which has been terminated by IRCTC. After all, it is to be borne in mind that the IRCTC is the absolute owner of the train in question and the said train belongs exclusively to IRCTC," the division bench observed.

The High Court also sidelined the argument by the Cox and Kings counsel that it should be given the permission to run the train in collaboration with IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd.) as the train became popular throughout the world due to the efforts put in by the travel agency.

"Maharaja Express has earned worldwide name and is one of the premier luxury trains in the world tourism. No doubt, that is true. However, that would not mean that C&K has acquired indefeasible right to run this train. Purpose can be served if the train runs as usual but by the IRCTC on its own or with the aid and addition of some other party," the court added. 

IRCTC had struck a joint venture with Cox and Kings in the year 2006 by the name of Royale India rail Tours Limited to run the Maharaja Express. From the month of April in the year 2011, both the entities started having differences on the operation of the train.

As per Cox and Kings, IRCTC’s draft treaty with Indian Railways was put forth to override all the agreements made between them and alter all the terms and conditions of the collaboration.


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