Supreme Court hears SBI consortium’s appeal against NCLAT verdict on Jet Airways transfer

Matter deferred to May 17; advocate for the SBI consortium says burden has fallen heavily on the lenders

Published - May 08, 2024 11:14 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Image for representation. File

Image for representation. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Supreme Court on Wednesday partly heard a State Bank of India-led consortium’s challenge to a decision of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal to approve a resolution plan proposed by Jalan-Kalrock consortium (JKC) for Jet Airways.

Appearing before a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, senior advocate Harish Salve, for the SBI consortium, said the situation has become a “nightmare” for the lenders.

The lenders described the NCLAT verdict of March 12 as “ shocking” and a deviation from the Supreme Court direction to encash a ₹150 crore bank guarantee towards the initial tranche payment of ₹350 crore to the banks.

Mr. Salve said the burden has fallen heavily on the lenders. He said airport dues alone have come to ₹1,000 crore and ₹22 crore a month was the “clock ticking” on the maintenance of the aircraft.

“Airlines require huge amounts of money and is not like the neighbouring grocery store you can buy, sell and make money… this way financial institutions will be hung out to dry,” Mr. Salve said.

He said “resolution” should not give way to “dissolution”.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the JKC, denied the allegations. He said the JKC had expended ₹700 crore to revive the airline and lenders had objected to its very move.

The court deferred the hearing to May 17 at 2 p.m.

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