Kalanthi Maran vs SpiceJet: Delhi HC Directs Airline To File Affidavit Disclosing Assets, Revenue Collection
IANS 09 August 2023
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice on Kal Airway's and its promoter Kalanithi Maran's application seeking 50% of the daily revenue collection of low-cost airline SpiceJet Ltd to be paid to them on a weekly basis.
As justice Yogesh Khanna directed the airline and chairman and managing director (CMD) Ajay Singh to file an affidavit disclosing their assets and their revenue collection within one weeks' time, he mandated Mr Singh's presence on the next date of hearing, which has now been set to 24th August from 5th September.
Considering the willful default and lackadaisical attitude of SpiceJet and Mr Singh, the judge reiterated his 24th July order and advanced the hearing.
During the hearing, senior advocate Maninder Singh submitted that in view of the willful defaults at every stage and laid back attitude it is just and fair that the Spicejet and Mr Singh should deposit Rs393 crore approximately and file their affidavit of assets before the next date of hearing.
The counsel sought directions from the court for his client that the 50% of the daily revenue collected by the judgement debtors be paid to decree holders—Kal Airways and Kalanithi Msran—on weekly basis, the affidavit of disclosure of assets be filed at the earliest, the statement of accounts be filed within one day in court and the main prayer i.e. entire arbitral awarded amount be paid to the decree-holders.
On the other hand, senior advocate Sandeep Sethi admitted that the orders have not been complied with by Spicejet.
However, he said that this is a fresh application listed on Wednesday and submitted that since the matter is already directed to be listed on 5th September the matter may be heard on that date as the judgment debtor—SpiceJet and CMD—is bound by court orders.
He also argued that there is no reason for allowing early hearing at this stage.
To which, the judge then observed that the decree-holder is not left with any other option but to move an early hearing application as the judgement debtor is not complying with the orders passed by the courts and the judgement debtor should have filed its affidavit of disclosure of assets till date.
On 24th July, the high court issued notice to SpiceJet and Mr Singh seeking urgent hearing of its enforcement petition in a case where the former is to pay approximately Rs390 crore to it towards its interest liability under the arbitral award.
Allowing the application, justice Khanna had directed SpiceJet and its CMD to file an affidavit disclosing all their assets before the next date of hearing, 5th September and also mandated the physical presence of Mr Singh before it.
The Supreme Court had, on 13th February, directed SpiceJet to pay Rs75 crore to decree holder (Kal Airways and Maran) within a period of three months towards its interest liability under the arbitral award, and had also clarified that in the event of failure to pay, the entire award would become executable in entirety in favour of decree-holder.
On the applications seeking further time extension that were moved by SpiceJet for two more months as the three months time period had expired on May 13, and it failed in honouring the top court's order, the counsel for the decree-holder had informed the Court that the apex court order of 13th February has been now reaffirmed by another order dated 7th July, whereby the time applications of SpiceJet are also dismissed.
The apex court, while dismissing the same, observed that SpiceJet’s application is nothing but a delay tactic to not pay money even when there are court orders directing the same.
Singh had told the high court that SpiceJet is not honouring the orders passed by any of the courts, and has earlier too failed to comply with the order passed by this court dated 4 November 2020, directing the airlines to file its affidavit of disclosure of its assets. It was also reaffirmed by order dated 29th May by this Court and it is not filed till date, he apprised the court.
He had submitted before justice Khanna’s bench that Order XXI Rule 41 (iii) of Code of Civil Procedure clearly provides that the court may, for a period not exceeding three months, pass an order of arrest of the judgement debtor for not complying with the order to file affidavit of assets.
Following the top court’s order dated 13th February, the high court had on 29th May, directed SpiceJet and Ajay Singh to pay the entire executable amount under the award to the decree-holder.
On Wednesday, senior advocate Sandeep Sethi with advocate Atul Sharma appeared on behalf of SpiceJet Ltd and Ajay Singh.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, instructed by senior partner Nandini Gore, principal associate Sonia Nigam, associate Yash Dubey and associate advocate Akarsh Sharma from Karanjawala & Co. appeared on behalf of the Kal Airways Pvt Ltd and Kalanithi Maran.
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