Tuesday, August 10, 2021

'Trying For Amicable Settlement': SpiceJet Tells Delhi High Court On Air Tariff Dues Owed To Airport Authority Of India

Commercial airline SpiceJet Limited has informed the Delhi High Court that it is trying to settle the matter relating to payment of tariff dues worth Rs. 158 crores to the Airport Authority of India amicably.
 The company also owes Rs. 82 crore worth interest that accrued on the due amount. Justice Rekha Palli was hearing an application moved by the company, seeking extension of time for making the deposit. Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan appearing for the airline informed the Bench that they are in touch with the Secretary to the Civil Aviation Ministry and urged the Court to extend interim protection until the matter is settled. 
 "If they are talking to you, they will obviously not take action," the Court remarked at the outset, expressing disinclination to extend the protection. Krishnan then urged the Bench to consider the hit taken by the airline industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 
He stated that even Supreme Court was cognizant of the debilitated situation of the industry in the case of Pravasi Legal Cell & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. The Top Court had observed therein that the pandemic situation has adversely affected the economy globally and civil aviation sector is not an exception to the same. "At best I can adjourn it. I will not extend it, that I am clear. I don't want to jeopardize your talks," Justice Palli observed. 
 Advocate Digvijay Rai, while opposing such extension on behalf of the Respondents, informed the Court that airline has made a representation to the Chairman, AAI and that will be considered by the management. So far as representations made to the Aviation Ministry is concerned, Rai stated that he has no instructions to that effect as he does not represent the Ministry. The instant application was filed in a plea filed by the airline against AAI which is seeking to encash its bank guarantee towards repayment of outstanding traffic dues of Rs. 157.16 crores and interest of Rs. 82.19 crores. 
 10/08/21 Live Law
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