OYO room
OYO RoomsReuters

OYO Rooms, on Friday, September 6, refuted the claims of Bengaluru-based hotelier following reports that its CEO was booked on charges of cheating.

A case was registered at the Whitefield police station following a complaint by Natarajan VRS, the owner of Rajguru Shelter Hotels at BEML Layout in Brookefield. Natarajan claimed that OYO CEO Ritesh Agarwal and two of his representatives in Bengaluru, Anand Reddy and Prathik Singh, had cheated him to the tune of Rs 1 crore, the Deccan Herald had reported. 

"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 two other office bearers, basis false claims and exaggeration on a regular commercial dispute," an OYO spokesperson told International Business Times, India.

"Our lawyers are looking into the matter and will be taking strong legal action as these claims are incorrect and defamatory in nature. We respect the law of the land and believe it will do the right justice," the spokesperson added.

As per the complaint, Natarajan said he had signed a contract with the budget lodging platform OYO Rooms back in 2017 with an 80/20 percent profit share. OYO would provide reservations to the hotel and take 20 percent as their share and give him 80 percent to the Hotel.

In his complaint, Natarajan claimed that Agarwal and his representatives had taken 80 percent of the share and had given him 20 percent. The Whitefield police have booked the trio under sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The CI of Whitefield police station Narendra Kumar said an investigation in the matter is being carried out. 

However, OYO said that it has complied with all the terms of contract with the hotel and cleared all payments on time. The company also said "people with vested interests" are trying to "sensationalise matters" even as it's business as usual at OYO.

The hotel partners of OYO had started a nationwide protest against the company due to payment issues and for charging a commission on Goods and Services Tax (GST). A campaign was organised to boycott OYO calling 'Say No to OYO', asking hoteliers to break ties with the online platform. The hoteliers have also claimed that the firm has changed its contract terms and manipulated data by charging hidden charges, which no one is aware of.

Many of the hotels are also not giving rooms to the customers who have booked it through OYO, as they don't want to partner with the company anymore because of the dirt-cheap prices that OYO offers for the hotel rooms.