10 Oct 2022 11:54 AM GMT
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Monday told the Delhi High Court that it has requested its two equity partners - the Union of India and Delhi Government, for infusion of funds to make balance payment to the Reliance Infrastructure-promoted Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd (DAMEPL) in terms of a 2017 arbitral award.According to DMRC, it owes Rs.7,010.08 Crore to the...
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Monday told the Delhi High Court that it has requested its two equity partners - the Union of India and Delhi Government, for infusion of funds to make balance payment to the Reliance Infrastructure-promoted Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd (DAMEPL) in terms of a 2017 arbitral award.
According to DMRC, it owes Rs.7,010.08 Crore to the Reliance subsidiary as on September 06. Till now, a sum of Rs.2,599.17 Crore has been paid to DAMEPL. The DMRC has sought Rs 3500 Crore each from Centre and Delhi government.
Attorney General for India R. Venkataramani, appearing for DMRC, informed the bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao that since the equity partners are applying their minds to the issue, it will be in the fitness of things that no adverse order touching upon the maintenance and operations of Delhi Metro is passed by the court.
"Having regard to the gravity of the situation namely that anything that is done regard to the activities and operations of the Delhi Metro will have serious consequences for its current operations. Millions of commuters will simply be told you can't use Delhi metro if any adverse order is passed against Delhi metro at this point of time," Venkataramani submitted.
Furthermore, the AG referred to an additional affidavit filed by DMRC stating that if the company pursues raising of any loan, it may fall in a financial trap.
"The importance of complying with the decree is well taken but equally important is the concerns of the Delhi Metro. We are taking stock of in what manner decree can be executed as soon as possible ... Even earlier, the Metro was pursuing other alternative and writing its concerns to two equity partners. I suppose this matter will receive utmost expedition from both equity partners," Venkataramani submitted.
He added: "Every effort will be made to ensure that the decree is honoured but that must be honoured in a way which is comfortable to the Delhi Metro and our operations."
Accordingly, the AG sought a period of two weeks to place before the court the modalities regarding the payment to be made to DAMEPL in terms of the award.
Accordingly, the matter was adjourned to October 31.
As per the additional affidavit filed by DMRC, it has been stated that if any adverse order is passed against the company at the present stage, its operations would come to a complete standstill, which would be prejudicial to the public interest considering that approximately 48 lakh journeys take place on a daily basis.
"DMRC has already tendered an amount of apprx. Rs. 2600 Crore to the Decree Holder and is expecting funds infusion from its shareholders so as to satisfy the payment of remaining amount of the Arbitral Award," the affidavit reads.
On September 6, the court had directed DMRC to make balance payment to DAMEPL within a period of four weeks, failing which its Managing Director would have to be summoned. The AG appeared in the matter for the first time on Monday.
The court is hearing a petition filed by DAMEPL seeking enforcement of the arbitration award dated May 11, 2017. In 2008, DMRC had signed a contract with DAMEPL, related to "the design, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the line". However, due to certain disputes, the matter went into arbitration in 2012 - the DMRC invoked the arbitration after DAMEPL terminated the agreement on certain grounds. The award in favour of DAMEPL was upheld by the Supreme Court last year.
Case Title: Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited v. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.