Man stays at a 5-star hotel in Delhi for over two years, escapes without payment

23 June, 2023 | Disha Singh

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The hotel has demanded strong legal action against the culprits including the hotel staff who facilitated the stay of man by falsifying hotel's payment system.

Roseate House, a luxurious five-star hotel situated near the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, has reported a significant financial loss of Rs 58 lakh. The loss was allegedly caused by a guest named Ankush Dutta, who, with the assistance of certain hotel staff, managed to stay at the hotel for nearly two years without making any payments. Roseate House has taken legal action by filing a police case against Ankush Dutta and one of their employees.

The FIR, lodged by Vinod Malhotra, a representative of Bird Airports Hotel Private Limited, which operates five-star hotel Roseate, provides detailed information about the incident. Malhotra claims that Ankush Dutta’s stay of 603 days resulted in an outstanding cost of Rs 58 lakh, which he deliberately evaded before checking out.

The FIR accuses Prem Prakash, the head of the Front Office Department, of intentionally violating hotel policies to accommodate Ankush Dutta’s prolonged stay. Prakash had the authority to determine room rates and access the hotel’s computer system, which is used for tracking guest dues. The hotel’s management suspects that Prakash may have accepted illicit cash payments from Dutta in exchange for manipulating the hotel’s in-house software system, which is responsible for maintaining guest accounts.

According to the FIR, a criminal conspiracy was orchestrated by Ankush Dutta and certain hotel staff, including Prem Prakash, to wrongfully benefit themselves and deprive the hotel of its rightful dues.

“A criminal conspiracy was hatched by guest Mr. Ankush Dutta along with some known and unknown hotel staff, including Mr. Prem Prakash, with a motive to gain wrongfully and deprive the hotel of its rightful dues.”

The FIR further alleges that the involved staff members engaged in forgery, deletion, and addition of account entries while falsifying multiple records within Ankush Dutta’s account in the hotel’s Opera software system.

Ankush Dutta initially checked into the five-star hotel Roseate House on May 30, 2019, booking a room for one night. However, he continuously extended his stay until January 22, 2021, disregarding the designated checkout date of May 31.

Roseate House’s regulations dictate that if a guest’s outstanding dues exceed 72 hours, the CEO and Financial Controller must be notified. However, Prakash failed to report Dutta’s pending dues to the higher authorities within the hotel.

The FIR also reveals that Prakash intentionally avoided creating outstanding payment reports from May 30, 2019, to October 25, 2019. Even when he eventually generated the report after October 25, he deceptively merged Dutta’s pending bills with those of unrelated guests, concealing the charges within the consolidated bill.

Roseate House claims that Prakash employed various tactics to facilitate Ankush Dutta’s extended stay in the five-star hotel, including fabricating accounts to suggest that other guests had made payments on his behalf. However, this claim was later exposed as false.

Furthermore, the hotel discovered that Ankush Dutta had issued three checks of varying amounts (Rs 10 lakh, Rs 7 lakh, and Rs 20 lakh) on different dates, all of which bounced. Prakash deliberately kept this information hidden from the hotel management.

Demanding strict legal action against the culprits, Roseate House asserts that a series of criminal offenses, including criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery, and falsification of accounts, have been committed.