KAL Airways, Kalanithi Maran to seek ₹1,323 crore in damages from SpiceJet, Ajay Singh

The dispute arose due to a breach of trust by SpiceJet and has caused "enormous hardship to both KAL Airways and Kalanithi Maran for more than a decade," a statement said

Published - May 27, 2024 08:45 pm IST - New Delhi

KAL Airways and Kalanithi Maran on Monday said they will seek more than ₹1,323 crore in damages from SpiceJet and its chief Ajay Singh as well as challenge the recent Delhi High Court order in the ongoing dispute between the two sides.

KAL Airways and Kalanithi Maran on Monday said they will seek more than ₹1,323 crore in damages from SpiceJet and its chief Ajay Singh as well as challenge the recent Delhi High Court order in the ongoing dispute between the two sides. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

KAL Airways and Kalanithi Maran on Monday said they will seek more than ₹1,323 crore in damages from SpiceJet and its chief Ajay Singh as well as challenge the recent Delhi High Court order in the ongoing dispute between the two sides.

On May 17, a division Bench of the court set aside a single judge Bench order that had upheld an arbitral award asking SpiceJet and its promoter Ajay Singh to refund ₹579 crore plus interest to Mr. Maran.

The Bench allowed the appeals filed by Mr. Singh and SpiceJet challenging the single judge's order, passed on July 31, 2023, and remanded the matter back to the court concerned to consider the petitions challenging the arbitral award afresh.

Against this backdrop, Mr. Maran and his firm KAL Airways have decided to challenge the ruling after consultation with their legal counsel.

The decree holders — KAL Airways and Mr. Maran — "believe that the aforesaid judgement is deeply flawed and warrants further scrutiny".

"In parallel, they are also seeking damages in excess of ₹1,323 crore, as determined by FTI Consulting LLP, United Kingdom, a globally renowned firm that specialises in estimation of losses arising out of breach of contractual commitments," KAL Airways said in a statement on Monday.

Further, it said the claim for damages had originally been presented by KAL Airways and Mr. Maran before the arbitral tribunal and "has always remained an integral part of their quest for justice".

By pursuing both the challenge to the Delhi High Court judgement and the claim for damages, the decree holders hope to secure a just and equitable resolution to the contentious dispute, the statement said.

The dispute arose due to a breach of trust by SpiceJet and has caused "enormous hardship to both KAL Airways and Kalanithi Maran for more than a decade," it added.

According to the statement, they will pursue the execution of the arbitral award, seeking a refund of the pending dues amounting to ₹353.50 crore.

"This action is also in full compliance with, and supported by, the orders dated February 13, 2023, and July 7, 2023, passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court directing that the award in favour of the decree holders is executed in its entirety," it said.

On May 22, SpiceJet said it will seek a refund of ₹450 crore out of the total ₹730 crore paid to the airline's former promoter Mr. Maran and KAL Airways following the Delhi High Court ruling.

The case dates back to early 2015, when Mr. Singh, who owned the airline earlier, bought it back from Mr. Maran after it was grounded for months due to resource crunch.

As part of the agreement, Mr. Maran and KAL Airways had claimed to have paid SpiceJet ₹679 crore for issuing warrants and preference shares.

However, Mr. Maran approached the Delhi High Court in 2017, alleging SpiceJet had not issued convertible warrants and preference shares nor returned the money.

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