Delhi HC dismisses DMRC plea for refund of Rs678 crore paid to Reliance Infra lenders
IANS 03 December 2021
Delhi High Court (HC) has dismissed the Restitution Application of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) that had sought a refund of Rs 678 crore paid by the company to the lenders of Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd, (DAMEPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Limited, in 2018.
This money was paid by DMRC to the lenders of DAMEPL pursuant to the order of Delhi HC Single Judge Bench that had upheld the Rs 4,700 crore arbitration award in favour of DAMEPL.
In January 2019, the Division Bench of DHC, while setting aside the Arbitration Award, had allowed DMRC to file an appeal against the Single Judge Bench's order of May 2018 and also allowed DMRC to seek a refund of Rs 678.42 crore paid by the company to DAMEPL's lenders from time to time to claim the refund, DMRC had filed a Restitution Application in February 2019 in Delhi HC.
Now after the Supreme Court order dismissing the review petition of DMRC, the Delhi HC has also dismissed the Restitution Application of DMRC, terming it as infructuous.
The Supreme Court, on November 23, dismissed the review petition filed by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) against an Supreme Court order, which had upheld the Rs 7,100 crore arbitral award in favour of DAMEPL.
Reliance Infrastructure has filed an execution petition in the Delhi High Court, which is coming up for hearing on Monday (December 6).
According to sources, every single day's delay in the payment of arbitration money to Reliance Infrastructure by DMRC is causing an additional interest burden of around Rs 2 crore per day on the DMRC. The interest liability of DMRC has already gone up by around Rs 200 crore since the pronouncement of the order by the apex court on September 9 in this matter.
The Supreme Court in its order on September 9 had upheld Rs 7,100 crore arbitral award in favour of DAMEPL, a Reliance Infra arm that used to operate the Delhi Airport Metro line.
A bench of the apex court headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao had quashed the Delhi High Court order that had set aside the arbitration award in favour of DAMEPL, which had pulled out from running the Airport Express Metro line over safety issues.
Reliance Infrastructure will receive Rs 7,100 crore from the DMRC after the Supreme Court judgment.
The arbitral tribunal in its May 2017 award had accepted the Airport Metro operator's claim that the running of operations on the line was not viable due to reasons such as structural defects.
In 2008, DAMEPL had entered into a contract with DMRC for running the Airport Metro line till 2038.
As disputes arose between the parties, DAMEPL stopped operating the Metro on the airport line and invoked the arbitration clause against DMRC alleging violation of contract and sought a termination fee.
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