SC upholds arbitral award in favour of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd


In a major victory, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. on Thursday won a four-year battle for control of money from an arbitration award, as the Supreme Court upheld an arbitral award which went in its favour.

A bench headed by justice L. Nageswara Rao dismissed a plea by DMRC and upheld the 2017 arbitration award in favour of debt-laden Reliance Group, ADAG, led By Anil Ambani. The amount over Rs 4,600 crore, including interest, will help the beleaguered group to repay its debt. A detailed order will be uploaded on the top court website later in the day.

During the hearing in the matter, the Reliance’s lawyers had contended before the top court that the firm will use the money to pay lenders.

In 2008, Reliance Infrastructure’s unit had entered into a contract with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for running the city rail project till 2038.

In 2012, Ambani’s firm stopped operating the capital’s airport metro project, due to disputes over fee and operation. The firm initiated an arbitration case against the DMRC alleging violation of contract and sought a termination fee.

Reliance will use the money to pay lenders, the company’s lawyers had said during the case hearings, following which the top court had barred banks from marking the company’s accounts as non-performing assets.

The final ruling in the case also lifts the court’s restriction on lenders.