The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a Delhi High Court order, which directed Indian Airline SpiceJet to deposit Rs 243 crore with the Registry, in its ongoing arbitration case with its former promoter Kalanithi Maran and KAL Airlines.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued notice to Maran in an appeal filed by SpiceJet against orders passed by Delhi high court in September and October this year in a share transfer dispute between Maran and the airlines.
Earlier on 22nd October, Maran has moved the Delhi High Court seeking attachment of SpiceJet promoter, Ajay Singh’s shareholding after the airline failed to deposit Rs 243 crore in favor of the Sun Group Chairman. Later in September, the High Court asked SpiceJet to deposit the amount within six weeks.
Nonetheless, the deadline set by the High Court had expired on October 14. The amount of 243 crores is an interest payout of the sum Maran and his KAL Airways won as a refund from an arbitration panel in 2018. They also urged the High Court to appoint an administrator to take control of the management of the company.
“Till such date, no payment of the amount directed has been made by the judgment debtor and making the judgment debtor willfully non-compliant and disobedient of this Courts’ order,” said the plea by Maran.
Meanwhile, SpiceJet moved the Supreme Court challenging this order by the High Court on the payment of Rs 243 crores. During the hearing, the top court said it will hear the matter in detail and sought a response from Kalanithi Maran and KAL Airways while ordering for an interim stay.
The issue before the Supreme Court was “whether without deciding the challenge to the arbitration award under Section 34 of the Act (pending since January 2019), it was just or equitable for the High Court, in enforcement proceedings, to direct the petitioners to further deposit Rs 242.93 crores to secure the interest component, by erroneously interpreting the arbitral award and an audit report.”
Subsequently, while ordering for an interim stay, the top court said that it will hear the matter in detail and sought a response from Kalanithi Maran and KAL Airways.