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Kal Airways and SpiceJet should settle the dispute:Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the matter relating to over payment of interest in connection with a share-transfer issue between low-cost airline SpiceJet and Kal Airways which is owned by the media baron Kalanithi Maran will be heard on April 12

Kal Airways and Maran had informed  the apex court that the two proposals to settle their dispute with SpiceJet on payment of interest in connection with the share-transfer issue was not acceptable to them. They also informed that the Spice Jet airline owed them around Rs 920 crore in pursuance of an arbitral award.

A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana, opined that efforts should be taken to to settle the dispute, The bench has decided to hear the matter on April 12.

SpiceJet, at first offered to pay Rs 300 crore towards a full-and-final settlement of the dispute or secondly, of the bank guarantee of Rs 270 crore deposited with the Delhi High Court, it would give Rs 100 crore for now and an order will be passed by the apex court urging the high court to expeditiously decide the case related to the arbitral award, however Kal Airways did not find the matter acceptable

The bench was hearing SpiceJet’s appeal against the November 2, 2020 order of the high court, asking the airline to deposit around Rs 243 crore as interest in connection with the share-transfer dispute with its former promoter, Maran, and Kal Airways.

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Prior to this, on November 7, 2020, the apex court had stayed the Delhi High Court order asking SpiceJet to deposit around Rs 243 crore as interest in connection with the share-transfer dispute.

Ajay Singh the promoter of SpiceJet was asked by the Delhi High court in 2017  to deposit around Rs 243 crore as interest payable on Rs 579 crore, under the 2018 arbitration award in the share-transfer dispute.SpiceJet was granted six weeks’ time for the payment which was not adhered and expired on October 14, 2020.

Failing to comply with the order, Maran and his firm moved the high court for attachment of the entire shareholding of Singh in Spicejet and taking over the management for the non-payment of Rs 243 crore.

The top court had taken note of Spicejet’s appeal and passed the interim order, staying the high court order.

Maran and Kal Airways had moved the high court over the share-transfer dispute with SpiceJet, demanding that 18 crore warrants redeemable as equity shares be transferred to them.

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On July 20, 2018, the arbitral tribunal had rejected Maran’s claim of damages of Rs 1,323 crore for not issuing the warrants to him and Kal Airways but had awarded him a refund of Rs 579 crore plus interest.

Maran, who is the owner of Sun TV Network, then moved the high court against the arbitration award.

The matter pertained to a dispute arising out of non-issuance of warrants in favour of Maran after the transfer of ownership to Singh, the controlling shareholder of SpiceJet.

The dispute started after Singh took back control of SpiceJet in February 2015 amid the airline facing a financial crisis.

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Maran and Kal Airways had transferred their entire 35.04 crore equity shares in SpiceJet, amounting to a 58.46 per cent stake in the airline, to its co-founder Singh in February 2015 for just Rs 2.

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