8 Sep 2022 4:15 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has directed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to make balance payment in terms of a 2017 arbitral award to Reliance Infrastructure-promoted Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) within a period of four weeks. A single judge bench comprising of Justice V Kameswar Rao made it clear that if the amount is not paid within the stipulated time, the Court shall...
The Delhi High Court has directed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to make balance payment in terms of a 2017 arbitral award to Reliance Infrastructure-promoted Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) within a period of four weeks.
A single judge bench comprising of Justice V Kameswar Rao made it clear that if the amount is not paid within the stipulated time, the Court shall be constrained to call for personal appearance of the Managing Director of DMRC.
The development came in connection with the plea filed by DAMEPL seeking enforcement of the arbitration award dated May 11, 2017.
The High Court in June had granted time to DMRC to ensure payment of the outstanding decreetal amount to DAMEPL on or before August 5.
However, on August 16, the proceeding in the matter was deferred to September 6 in view of the fact that DMRC had filed a Curative Petition as well as SLP before the Supreme Court challenging the order dated March 10, 2022 directing it to pay the entire decreetal amount of over Rs 4,600 crore along with interest in two equal instalments to DAMEPL.
During the course of proceedings on September 6, the Court was apprised that while the curative petition was not listed before the Supreme Court, the SLP challenging the order dated March 10, 2022 was dismissed.
Accordingly, Senior Advocate Parag Tripathi appearing for DMRC sought four weeks time to pay the balance amount in terms of the award which had attained finality.
"Noting the submissions made by the learned Senior Counsel for the parties, I deem it appropriate to direct that the balance payment in terms of the award shall be made within a period of four weeks," the Court directed, while listing the matter for hearing on October 10.
DAMEPL had approached the High Court claiming that despite the direction of payment of the awarded amount, DMRC had paid only a sum of Rs. 166.44 crores to DAMEPL on March 14, 2022, and had not paid any amount thereafter.
Hence, an application was filed claiming the payment of Rs. 4427.41 crores (as on May 10, 2022) by attachment of bank accounts, fixed deposit, etc. of DMRC. Further, it was claimed that the interest continued to apply till the date of actual payment by DMRC.
The Judgment Debtor, DMRC, had preferred a challenge under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to the Award which was dismissed by a Single Judge of the High Court vide judgment dated March 6, 2018.
Thereafter, the said judgment was challenged before a division bench under Section 37 of the Act which was partly allowed and the Award was set aside vide judgement dated January 15, 2019.
DAMEPL, the Decree Holder, had then preferred a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court of India against the judgement of 2019 which was allowed in it's favour vide judgement dated September 9, 2021.
Accordingly, since the Award of 2017 could be executed as a decree in terms of Section 36 of the Act, the present petition was being filed by DAMEPL for execution of the Award passed by the Arbitral Tribunal.
Case Title: Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited v. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.
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