A cheating case has been registered against OYO Hotels and Homes founder Ritesh Agarwal and six others based on a complaint by a hotelier who has alleged that the firm did not pay rent for rooms for the past five months, the police said on Monday. In his complaint, Betz Fernandez, who owns Roxel Inn at Domlur in Bengaluru, stated that OYO had booked rooms and had agreed to pay Rs 7 lakh per month.
However, since May OYO did not pay him any rent thereby duping him to the tune of Rs 35 lakh, he alleged. Besides Ritesh Agarwal, police have booked Rohit Srivastava, head of OYO South, heads of business development Madhvendra Kumar and Gourab De, OYO Finance Officers Prateek Agarwal, Manjeet Singh and Mrimony Chakraborty.
They have been asked to appear before the investigating officer on Thursday, the police said. The OYO Hotels & Homes said in a statement that they will file a counter complaint against the Bengaluru hotel owner for "using improper legal means to sensationalise a civil dispute and get attention."
"Our lawyers are looking into the matter and will be taking strong legal action as these claims are incorrect and defamatory in nature."
Appropriate criminal proceedings will be initiated against the Bengaluru owner, the company said.
"We at all times follow the laws of the land and operate keeping in mind the best interests of our asset owners, customers and employees," it stated.
"On studying a similar matter where an FIR was wrongfully filed in September, the honourable Karnataka High Court recently stayed the adverse actions via an injunction in Bengaluru. We, therefore, have strong reasons to repose our faith in the justice system."