SC rejects DMRC plea against Rs60 crore interest payment to Reliance Infra unit
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) challenging release of Rs60 crore payable as interest to Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd (DAMEPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, a part of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group.
While dismissing the appeal, the court gave DMRC one week’s time to make the payment.
The court was hearing an appeal against a 30 May order of the Delhi high court, directing DMRC to pay the interest amount to Reliance Infra unit DAMEPL.
DAMEPL had approached the Delhi high court seeking early payment of an arbitration award it had won against the DMRC for termination of concession agreements for the metro express project.
On 11 May, an arbitral award amounting to Rs2,950 crore was passed in favour of DAMPEL. The total compensation (including interest) would amount to Rs4,670 crore.
The plea was filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, for payment of Rs3,502 crore, which constitutes 75% of the total award amount.
DAMEPL claimed that under the 5 September 2015 guidelines issued by Niti Aayog, public sector undertakings (PSUs) were to pay 75% of the award amount even if they proposed to challenge the arbitral award.
Applicability of the guidelines was opposed by DMRC, which told the court that the 90-day period to challenge the award had not lapsed.
Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.