SpiceJet gets three months Rs.75 cr to Maran, Kal Airways towards the interest component
The Supreme Court on Monday said the bank guarantee of Rs.270 crore of SpiceJet must be encashed immediately and the money is paid to media baron Kalanidhi Maran and his Kal Airways towards dues from the arbitral award of Rs.578 crore. Tamil Nadu’s ruling party DMK-associated Maran family were the earlier owners of SpiceJet. A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala also directed SpiceJet to pay within three months Rs.75 crore to Maran and Kal Airways towards the interest component on the arbitral award.
“We direct that the respondents/ decree holder (Maran and Kal Airways) having already received Rs.308 crore out of the arbitral award of Rs.578 crore, the bank guarantee of Rs.270 crore shall be encashed forthwith and the amount shall be paid over to the decree holder…,” the bench said. It added that this will ensure that the principal sum due in the award is paid almost in entirety.
The top court was hearing SpiceJet’s appeal against the November 2, 2020, order of the Delhi 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. On November 7, 2020, the apex court had stayed the high court order asking SpiceJet to deposit around Rs.243 crore as interest in connection with the share transfer dispute.
The Supreme Court said till three months, the execution of award will remain stayed and if SpiceJet made any default in compliance with these directions for payment, the award will become executable.
Maran has made a claim of Rs.362 crore in interest dues which was vehemently opposed by SpiceJet.
The apex court allowed SpiceJet to approach the Delhi High Court and urge for a lower interest rate. It requested the high court to make an endeavour to expedite the hearing in the matter.
SpiceJet and its promoter Ajay Singh were asked to deposit around Rs.243 crore as interest payable on Rs.578 crore, which the high court had in 2017 asked the airline to deposit under the 2018 arbitration award in the share-transfer dispute.
Maran and Kal Airways had moved the high court over the share-transfer dispute with SpiceJet, demanding that Rs.18 crore warrants redeemable as equity shares be transferred to them. Maran, the owner of Sun TV Network, then moved to the high court against the arbitration award. The matter pertained to a dispute arising out of the 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. Maran and Kal Airways had transferred their entire Rs.35.04 crore equity shares in SpiceJet, amounting to a 58.46 percent stake in the airline, to its co-founder Singh in February 2015 for just Rs 2.
Was sale of SpiceJet to a late BJP leader a quid-pro-quo for going slow on other cases?
SpiceJet is a politically exposed company. This airline was floated in 2000 by Ajay Singh having close links with BJP and he was once close aide of BJP leader late Pramod Mahajan. But when Congress led UPA regime came to power in 2004, the SpiceJet ownership came into the hands of Maran family. But when BJP came back to power in 2014, Maran family shifted the ownership to Ajay Singh in a dubious way. This change of ownership was totally dubious and illegal as the Stock Exchange rules were totally violated.
 L’AFFAIRE SPICEJET, THE CURIOUS CASE OF SPICEJET SALE – SMELL A SCAM! – Apr 25, 2019, RVaidya2000
 Subramanian Swamy alleges Arun Jaitley, Jayant Sinha hand in Jet Airways collapse – May 15, 2015, The Statesman
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