SC directs HC to take up Delhi Metro debt case ‘expeditiously’


MUMBAI : The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi high court to take up the case pertaining to the enforcement of 4,500 crore arbitration award in favour of Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd, while asking the court to take the case to its logical end in accordance with the law, within three months.

Adding that the law with regard to the execution of arbitral award is no different either for the government or its statutory corporations.

The matter will be taken up by the high court on 22 December.

This comes after the top court on Monday asked the Centre to provide a clarity on the timeline for settling the dues payable to Delhi Airport Metro by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). In this regard, DMRC had requested the apex court for an additional four weeks period which was turned down by the court.

Delhi Airport Metro Express is owned by Reliance Infrastructure, while Delhi Metro is a government-owned company.

Essentially, the Supreme Court was hearing a special leave petition pertaining to enforcement of an arbitration award of 7,200 crore in favour of the DAMEPL. Out of these 7,200 crore dues worth 2,600 crore have been paid by DMRC. It now owes an outstanding amount of 4,500 crore to DAMEPL.

In an affidavit filed before the top court it was submitted that on Tuesday, the board of directors of DMRC sought approval of the board to request both the stake holders of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation– Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to subscribe to the equity share capital of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. to meet the liability arising out of Arbitral Award of 11 May 2017, payable to Delhi Airport Metro.

The Board then approved the sole agenda of raising equity share capital as stated, and as per the resolution passed by the Board, the subscription of the issue is slated to be opened for subscription on Thursday and would close on 11 January 2023.

Moreover, in a letter written to MoHUA and GNCTD, DMRC requested that it be instructed on the schedule timeframe for the payment of Awarded amount to DAMEPL.

It was submitted by DMRC that if prayers by DAMPEL are were granted by the top court, at this juncture, the operations of the DMRC would come to complete standstill, which would be prejudicial to the public interest, considering that approximately 51 lakh journey’s take place daily on the Metro system maintained by DMRC in the National Capital Region.

In November, Reliance Infrastructure filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the top court, seeking the payment of the 4,500 crore arbitration award dues. Reliance Infrastructure claimed that despite the SC upholding the arbitral award, the DMRC had failed to pay the dues.

Following which the top court had issued a notice to DMRC in this regard and asked them to file a reply by 12 December.

Parallelly, the same matter is being heard by the Delhi High Court which had granted DMRC time till 12 December and asked the company to come up with a clear plan for making the payment in favour of DAMEPL.

The Supreme Court in September last year upheld DAMEPL’ 2017 arbitration award of 4,500 crore that was enforceable against the DMRC

Subsequently, the Delhi high court had taken up the matter for hearing.

DMRC had filed an affidavit on November 17 before the HC stating that the Delhi government will consider a decision on paying half the awarded sums by placing the matter before the Cabinet, which is likely to take some time.

Catch all the Corporate news and Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.



Source link