Kal-SpiceJet dispute: Supreme Court directs SpiceJet to pay interest, adjourns hearing to Monday

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the SpiceJet Airlines to at least pay some amount of interest to Kal Airways in relation to their dispute involving Rs 579 crore and adjourned the hearing to April 18.

A Bench Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Hima Kohli passed the order on a petition filed by Kalanithi Maran, former promoter of SpiceJet, seeking vacation of stay granted by the Apex Court on Delhi High Court's order, which had directed SpiceJet to deposit Rs 243 crore in their dispute.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for SpiceJet. He said, "We tried, we had long meetings, my friend called me in the morning and said its not possible. Please keep it in a week."

The Counsel for Kal Airways said,

"One aspect was compounding, which wasn’t before lordships. The apprehension is about interest part, they aren’t agreeable to pay any interest, so they may think about that."

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Justice Kohli: Mr Rohatgi, You’ve to be reasonable about interest.

CJI: At least some interest you have to pay.

Rohatgi: I’ll have to take instructions.

Bench: List on next Monday.

Earlier on February 10, the Apex Court had asked media baron Maran, to consider a settlement offer proposed by the airline to end the share-transfer dispute.

SpiceJet has offered to pay Rs 600 crore in cash to KAL Airways for a full and final settlement of all disputes.

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The High Court order was stayed by the Supreme Court in November 2020.

With the airline facing a possible wind-up, Maran sought for the stay to be lifted to secure the decreed amount, that is the refund amount awarded and interest, from SpiceJet.

Counsel for the cash-strapped airline informed the court that the principal amount, that is the refund amount, owed stands at Rs 579 crore. Of this, Rs 308 crore has been paid in cash and Rs 270 crore secured under bank guarantee. The airline is willing to convert the bank guarantee to cash and pay out an additional Rs 22 crore to Maran.

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