SC asks Kalanithi Maran, KAL Airways to consider SpiceJet’s settlement offer

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Kalanithi Maran, the former promoter of SpiceJet, to consider the full and final settlement offer made by the private airline to end the dispute in a share transfer matter.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana heard the matter.

In a statement, SpiceJet, after the hearing in the top court, said: “SpiceJet has offered to pay Rs 600 crore in cash in the share transfer case with its former promoter Kalanithi Maran and his firm KAL Airways for a full and final settlement of all disputes. Out of the principal amount of Rs 578 crore awarded in arbitration, SpiceJet has already paid Rs 308 crore in cash and deposited a bank guarantee of Rs 270 crore.”

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing on behalf of SpiceJet, proposed to pay the bank guarantee equivalent amount of Rs 270 crore in cash and top it up with additional Rs 22 crore aggregating the total pay-out to Rs 600 crore as full and final settlement of all disputes between the parties.

Maran and his firm, KAL Airways, had urged the top court to lift the stay on a Delhi High Court order asking the low-cost airline to deposit Rs 243 crore as interest on the amount of Rs 579 crore in the dispute.

In November 2020, the top court stayed the high court order.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, along with advocates from Karanjawala & Co, represented KAL Airways in the top court. Maran had sought the stay to be lifted to secure the decreed amount — refund amount awarded and interest — from SpiceJet.

Singh contended before the bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli, that the high court have asked the airline to pay the decretal amount and against which SpiceJet have deposited only Rs 270 crore as bank guarantee and now there is a winding up order passed against SpiceJet by the Madras High Court in another case – Credit Suisse AG vs SpiceJet.

He added that in such a change in circumstance, SpiceJet should be directed to pay and deposit 242 crore otherwise his client will have to run from pillar to post.

Karanjawala & Co, in a statement, said the top court proposed two offers to Maran and KAL Airways – that SpiceJet will give Rs 300 crore towards full and final settlement of the dispute and the matter finally gets settled and no further litigation.

Second, out of the bank guarantee of Rs 270 crore deposited with HC, SpiceJet will give Rs 100 crore for now and the order will be passed by the top court to hear petitions which are pending before the high court expeditiously.

The top court asked Singh to discuss the settlement with his client.

The bench, in its order, said: “List on February 14, to enable the learned senior counsel for the petitioners to seek instructions.”

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