Restaurant group's claims against Sonu Sood dismissed by HC

Updated: May 06, 2019, 09:06 IST | Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Order passed after restaurant group repeatedly fails to show up in court to argue their claims against actor, whose Versova property they'd rented for an eatery which has now shut down

Actor Sonu Sood had rented out his property in Versova for a restaurant being run by Kaio Restaurant LLP. File Pic
Actor Sonu Sood had rented out his property in Versova for a restaurant being run by Kaio Restaurant LLP. File Pic

In the ongoing tussle between actor Sonu Sood and Versova-based Kaio Restaurant LLP, the Bombay High Court-appointed arbitrator has ruled in favour of the actor by dismissing the claim made by Kaio, as they repeatedly failed to show up for court proceedings.

The court tiff has been going on since late last year. Sood had rented out his property in Versova to Kaio to run a restaurant named Koyla ethnic cuisine.

Stopped paying rent
Sood's lawyer Goenka told mid-day that the tenure for the rented property was from March 1, 2015 to February 29, 2020, with a lock-in period of two years up to April 15, 2017. The monthly rent was Rs 4.55 lakh, while the security deposit amounted to Rs 30 lakh.

"But the partners of Kaio Restaurant LLP stopped paying the rent. Because of this, my client asked them to vacate the property but they dragged him to court by filing an arbitration petition alleging that he has disposed of the furniture, fixtures and equipment lying in the restaurant, which left them in damages amounting to Rs 11.56 crore," said Goenka, adding that they had filed a counter claim. Kaio has allegedly not paid Rs 63 lakh, including interest, in rent for the time period of July 2016-17. The restaurant has shut shop.

However, nobody from Kaio has shown up in court. After observing the matter, the HC-appointed arbitrator in the matter, justice (retd) V M Kanade passed an order on April 18 saying, "Repeated opportunities have been given to the claimant to complete the pleadings and file the affidavit of evidence of the witnesses, documents and reply to the counter claim filed by the respondent [Sood]. Till today, the claimant has failed to comply with the directions given by this tribunal."

Numerous adjournments
The order further said, "The matter appeared on board on November 27, 2018. However, since neither the claimant nor his advocate were present, the matter was adjourned to December 2, 2018. The claimant then sent an e-mail requesting me to adjourn the matter beyond December 10, 2018. I acceded to his request and kept the matter on December 12, 2018, however, on that date also, neither the claimant nor his advocate were present. The matter was then adjourned to December 24, 2018 and on that date also, they were absent. As a last chance, the matter was kept on February 5, 2019."

"On that date Ali Kashiff Khan [Kaio's counsel] appeared on behalf of the claimant and sought six weeks' time as a last chance to file his reply to the counter claim and take instructions from the claimant. The matter was adjourned to March 7, 2019. On that day also, Khan again requested for one last adjournment," read the order.

Also Read: Sonu Sood: India's real heroes are our brave soldiers

"Respondent has filed his counter claim. No reply has been filed by the claimant to the counter claim. The counter claim will have to be now heard and decided on its merits on June 6," it added.

When mid-day contacted Khan, he said, "We did not appear for the arbitration proceedings on the last date because Abu Farhan Azmi [former partner at Kaio] had assured us that they will settle all the arbitration matters if we take back the FIR pertaining to the acts of cheating and criminal breach of trust with regards to Shelleys Hotel in Colaba. Now, without fail, we would be attending all the proceedings against Azmi and Sood on the next date in the arbitration."

Also Read: Sonu Sood: Will travel to few towns in Punjab to encourage voting

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