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NCLT refuses interim relief to Vikram Bakshi in plea against McDonald’s

LiveMint logoLiveMint 07-09-2017 Harveen Ahluwalia

New Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Thursday refused interim relief on the plea brought by Vikram Bakshi, estranged partner of McDonald’s India against the termination of the franchise agreement by the burger chain for 169 restaurants in north and east India.

The tribunal said it will hear the interim plea along with the main appeal that is scheduled for a hearing on 21 September.

The tribunal was referring to two different appeals—one brought by McDonald’s India against the National Company Law Tribunal or NCLT order of July reinstating Bakshi as managing director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (CPRL), the joint venture between him and McDonald’s India; the other was filed by Bakshi requesting a fair valuation of the fast food chain’s outlets in northern and eastern India.

McDonald’s India, on 21 August, had terminated its franchise agreement for 169 restaurants across north and east India with CPRL.

As per the termination notice, Bakshi was supposed to cease using McDonald’s name, trademarks, designs, branding, operational and marketing practices, policies, food recipes and specifications from 6 September.

However, the NCLT-appointed administrator, justice G.S. Singhvi, on Wednesday asked both sides to wait for the decision of the appellate tribunal on Thursday.

The decision comes two days after the NCLT dismissed Bakshi’s appeal against termination and asked him to approach the appellate tribunal for relief.

Separately, NCLT had also issued a show-cause notice to McDonald’s Corp. on Tuesday, in a contempt application filed by Bakshi alleging that the termination of franchise agreement was in conflict with an NCLT order of 13 July 2017, which asked the American fast food chain to refrain from interfering in the smooth functioning of CRPL and all its 169 restaurants.

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