Tuesday, June 18, 2024

2,278 employees on rolls, none reporting to work: Go First in Delhi HC

The Resolution Professional (RP) of cash strapped Go First airline has submitted an affidavit in the Delhi High Court stating that 2,278 employees remain on the rolls of the company, out of which none are at present reporting to work.

“Various personnel of the engineering and records team who were required to undertake maintenance activities have either gradually resigned or are not reporting to work due to non-payment of salaries,” read the affidavit by RP Shailendra Ajmera.

“As on insolvency commencement date the number of employees on the rolls of the Corporate Debtor stood at approx .. 4,621. However, as of 10.10.2023, approx ..2,278 employees remain on the rolls of the Company, out of which none are at present reporting to work,” it said.

The RP’s affidavit comes after the lessor filed a contempt petition, alleging that Ajmera did not permit them to inspect the aircraft and did not maintain them as per court directions.

“In response, I state at the outset, that the present Contempt Petition is not filed with bonafide intent and is in fact filed with the sole objective of delaying and derailing the final arguments in the writ petitions which, at the relevant time, were being advanced by Go Air and, to also delay the outcome in the main Writ Petition,” the affidavit read.

“The mere filing of this Contempt Petition and the resulting adversarial contest is sufficient to serve the purpose of the Petitioner, which is to see to it that the Corporate Debtor is choked of operational cash flows,” it read.

“I further state that the present Contempt Petition draws dubious inferences based on misleading averments. I deny the contents of the Contempt Petition in toto and state that nothing contained therein should be deemed to have been admitted by me unless specifically admitted by me in the present affidavit,” it read.

The RP further states that the records of the Corporate Debtor indicate that the salaries of the employees/workmen are unpaid for the month of April 2023, i.e., a period prior to the commencement of CIRP.

“Subsequent to commencement of CIRP on May 10, 2023 the erstwhile IRP had utilized the existing funds available with the Corporate Debtor to make payment of salaries for the month of May 2023.

Thereafter, the salary payments for the month of June 2023 were paid in August 2023 out of the corpus provided by the CoC for meeting critical operational expenses for continuing the going concern status of the Corporate Debtor,” it said.

“However, since the Corporate Debtor is prohibited from conducting any flying operations, the Corporate Debtor has been unable to generate any revenue which could have then been utilised towards the payment of salaries of the employees of the Corporate Debtor and also to undertake critical operational expenses, including but not limited to maintenance, in order to maintain the Corporate Debtor’s going concern status,” the affidavit stated.

On December 5, the Delhi High Court had asked the RP of cash-strapped Go First to file an affidavit in response to a lessor’s plea seeking contempt action.

The lessor alleges that the RP has not complied with the court’s order to allow inspection and maintenance of the aircraft.

In October, the court had allowed aircraft lessors to engage security personnel around-the-clock for safeguarding their aircraft parked at rest for several months.

In an interim order on July 5, the court had permitted the lessors to inspect their aircraft at least twice a month and carry out maintenance.

Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju, who presided over the case, in October had asked Go First’s Resolution Professional (RP) to share documents regarding the maintenance of aircraft, engines and airframes with its lessors.

Justice Ganju on Tuesday said that the court orders must be followed in letter and spirit, warning that further orders might be necessary if compliance is not achieved.

The court expressed concern about the non-maintenance of aircraft, terming it as a problem affecting all parties involved.

The lessor, DAE (SY 22) 13 Ireland Designated Activity Company, filed a petition seeking contempt proceedings against the RP, claiming that the aircraft were not being properly maintained, required documents were not provided, and court-directed inspections were being denied.



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