Arjun Rampal’s restaurant in legal trouble with ITDC

A restaurant run by the Bollywood actor in a starred hotel in Delhi faces closure as he has defaulted on payment of rent and owes dues to the tune of about Rs 2 crore

Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), which runs Hotel Samrat in posh Chanakyapuri area, has served an eviction notice to Arjun Rampal.

The actor has been running ‘LAP’ restaurant, with 150 seating capacity, since 2009. According to ITDC, Rampal has to pay Rs 25 lakh as rent per month besides the charges for power, water and cooking gas under an agreement. “He had stopped payments since October 2012,” an ITDC official said.

The total dues have accumulated to Rs 4.5 crore, but out of this, he recently paid Rs 2.5 crore, the official said.

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The lease of the restaurant expired in October, 2013 and Rampal has applied for renewal. The restaurant owner has moved court seeking redressal for not being able to pay the rent. “Since the matter is sub-judice now, he will be allowed to run the restaurant till the matter is settled,” he said.

ITDC, meanwhile, is regularly sending him the bill. “In December, a bill of Rs 25.77 lakh was sent and bill of Rs 33.61 lakh in January has also been dispatched to him.” Besides Samrat, ITDC, a subsidiary of Tourism Ministry, has two more hotels in the capital including the flagship ‘Ashok’ and ‘Janpath Hotel’.

When contacted, Rampal did not comment directly on the matter.  “I seem to be hearing about my businesses from the press,” he said in response to queries. Meanwhile, he tweeted, “So I am Bankrupt now!!! According to media reports. So everyone cash out ur checks now…#ridiculous.”

According to media reports, Rampal has sought financial relief from the court. The LAP lounge bar and restaurant was opened with much fanfare in August 2009 with reports suggesting involvement of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan’s wife Gauri Khan in designing the premises along with Rampal’s wife Mehr Jessia.