Crime
Refuting the claims, OYO said the complaint has been wrongfully filed on the basis of “false claims and exaggeration on a regular commercial dispute”

The Whitefield police in Bengaluru have booked hotel chain OYO Hotels and Homes’ CEO and founder Ritesh Agarwal for cheating and criminal breach of trust following a complaint by a city-based hotelier. Along with Ritesh, two other OYO representatives Anand Reddy and Prathik Singh, too, have been booked in the case.

In his complaint, Natarajan, owner of Rajguru Shelter Hotels alleged that the company violated an agreement of taking only 20% commission from each reservation and in the process cheated him to the tune of Rs 1 crore. The agreement between Rajguru Shelter Hotels and OYO was drawn in February 2017.

The three have been booked under sections 34 (common intent), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. The Whitefield police refused to comment on the matter as it is still under investigation. 

Responding to the FIR, an OYO spokesperson denied any wrongdoing and said the company will not comment on the specifics of the matter as it is sub judice. 

“We strongly refute the claims made in the complaint that has been wrongfully filed against our Founder and two other office bearers, basis false claims 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 said in a statement on Friday. 

In July, TNM had reported how many hotel operators felt the company is hurting their businesses. 

“OYO has been cheating the hotel owners by using various gimmicks and arm-twisting tactics, which has resulted in huge losses for hotel owners and has disrupted the hotel industry and market,” Pradeep Shetty, a committee member of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), had told TNM then. 

Read: Why many hotel owners across India are agitated with Oyo's business model