The Delhi High Court on Monday summoned low-cost airline SpiceJet’s Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh for the second time in three months.
Singh will have to appear in court on January 10, the next date of hearing. The HC had earlier summoned him in August this year.
It is to be noted that the Supreme Court in August 2023 ordered Singh’s personal presence in a contempt case initiated by Credit Suisse, a financial services company.
In September 2023, SpiceJet and Singh complied with the court order to pay Kalanithi Maran, the Sun Group chairperson, Rs 100 crore towards the dues they owed. Failure to pay could lead to the court attaching SpiceJet’s profits for the previous quarter, the court said.
The HC’s direction on Monday came after Maran’s lawyer told the court that SpiceJet had to pay Rs 440 crore to them in view of the interest arising out of dues from an arbitral award.
Singh told the court that SpiceJet last made a payment of Rs 100 crore in September and has not made any further payments.
Appearing for SpiceJet and its CMD Ajay Singh, Amit Sibal argued that the due amount according to them is only Rs 194 crore.
SpiceJet was ready to offer them equity shares in lieu of the due amount, he said.
Sibal highlighted that SpiceJet has been struggling to keep itself afloat owing to black swan events such as grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft, the pandemic and the rise in fuel prices in the aftermath of the Ukraine war.
Pushing the company to pay in cash would be detrimental to all the parties involved. He noted that none of the stakeholders would benefit if SpiceJet goes into insolvency.
The Sun Group chairperson claimed that the airline owed him Rs 393 crore as of August 3 and sought attachment of 50% of its daily revenues towards paying dues.
It is to be noted that last week, SpiceJet moved a division bench of the Delhi high court seeking damages from Kalanithi Maran alleging a breach of contract by the latter.
Maran was supposed to settle a Rs 100-crore loan taken from City Bank in 2012, but the payment was never made.