A cheating case was registered against Ritesh Agarwal, the founder of OYO Hotels and Homes, and six others in connection with a police complaint by a hotel owner in Bengaluru.
In the complaint, Betz Fernandez, who owns Roxel Inn in Domlur, alleged that the firm did not pay rent for rooms for the past five months, police said on Monday.
Betz stated that OYO had booked rooms at his hotel and agreed to pay a sum of Rs 7 lakh per month.
He, however, adds that since May, the firm has not paid him any rent and therefore the firm owes him a sum of Rs 35 lakh for the last five months. Police have booked Rohit Srivastava, head of OYO South, heads of business development Madhvendra Kumar and Gourab De, finance officers Prateek Agarwal, Manjeet Singh and Mrimony Chakraborty.
According to Betz, OYO repeatedly charged Roxel Inn for ‘bogus bookings’ in these five months and that repeated emails exchanged between them did not resolve the issue, Inc42 reported.
All the six people are set to appear before the investigating officer on Thursday for questioning. The FIR was registered under of criminal breach of trust, cheating, criminal conspiracy, abetment, computer related offences under sections 34,120B, 406, 420 of the Indian Penal Code.
V Natarajan, a retired army official, had earlier filed a similar case against OYO and the firm has been accused of indulging in unfair practices by several budget hotels across the country.
OYO in a statement refuted the allegations and said that the company’s officials will file a counter-complaint against the Bengaluru hotel owner.
“This matter is currently sub-judice, and we are not at the liberty of commenting on specifics. Having said that, we strongly refute the claims made in the complaint that has been wrongfully filed against our founder and six other office bearers, based on false allegations and exaggeration on a regular commercial dispute. Our lawyers are looking into the matter and will be taking strong legal action as these claims are incorrect and defamatory in nature. OYO Hotels & Homes will initiate appropriate criminal proceedings against the Bengaluru owner who is sensationalising a civil dispute to attract attention,” an OYO spokesperson said in a statement.