HC tells SpiceJet's Ajay Singh to pay Rs 100 crore to Maran by Tuesday

This is as part of the over Rs 380 crore arbitral award dues he has to pay

SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh

SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh

Bhavini Mishra

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The Delhi High Court on Monday granted a momentary respite to SpiceJet’s Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Ajay Singh. It gave him time till Tuesday to pay Rs 100 crore out of the over Rs 380 crore arbitral award dues to Chairman and Founder of the Sun group Kalanithi Maran.

Maran’s counsel told the court that Singh had time to make the payment from August 24 till September 11 but he had not done so.

Singh’s counsel told the court that they had paid Maran Rs 62.5 crore and were carrying a cheque for Rs 37.5 crore in Maran’s name. To this, the court told Singh to pay the remaining amount by Monday or Tuesday. The next hearing is likely to be on October 3.

The Delhi High Court, on August 24, told Singh to pay Rs 100 crore dues to Maran by September 10.

The court warned that if Singh fails to pay, SpiceJet’s properties will be attached towards payment of dues.

Singh was present on Monday before Justice Yogesh Khanna in accordance with the court’s July 24 direction.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Maran, had said that Ajay Singh and his airline now owe them close to Rs 397 crore.

He said that in accordance with the court’s orders, Singh and SpiceJet had filed an affidavit of the assets and liabilities. However, it was not in the format prescribed by law and in a sealed cover.

The advocate also sought the attachment of around Rs 200-crore profit of SpiceJet towards Maran’s dues.

Senior advocate Amit Sibal, appearing for SpiceJet and Ajay Singh, told the court that nobody would benefit if they went into insolvency.

He also told the court that the airline was struggling financially. “We are struggling to stay afloat,” he had told the judge on August 24.
Ajay Singh had on May 11 said that there was no question of filing for insolvency. “There is absolutely no question of filing for insolvency. We are focused firmly on reviving our grounded fleet,” he said.
The HC, on July 31, refused to set aside the arbitral award in favour of Maran and against SpiceJet, making way for Maran to press for enforcement of the award.

Ajay Singh had sought to set aside the portion of the award, which directed SpiceJet to refund Rs 270 crore to Kal Airways and Kalanithi Maran.

The high court, on May 29, had ordered SpiceJet to pay Rs 380 crore to its former promoter Maran and asked the airline to submit an affidavit of assets within four weeks.

Justice Khanna had issued the order on the execution petition filed by Kal Airways.

The order rejected the claims of SpiceJet and directed it to pay the entire arbitral award to Kal.

First Published: Sep 11 2023 | 6:31 PM IST

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