New Delhi: Following a 23 March Delhi high court order, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been asked to make a payment of Rs306 crore to a consortium of 11 banks by 28 March, to ensure that no account of Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd (DAMEPL), a unit of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra), turns into a non-performing asset (NPA), a media release by RInfra said.

On 23 March, the high court asked DMRC to authorize a representative to approach DAMEPL’s “lending banks"—Axis Bank, UCO Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Andhra Bank, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank, Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of India, IIFC UK, Canara Bank London—for the Airport Metro Express Line project, to ascertain the immediate amount required to avoid DAMEPL’s accounts with the concerned bank to be classified as an NPA.

The court had asked DMRC to pay the amounts so ascertained on or before 28 March.

The order was passed in a plea brought by DAMEPL against DMRC for execution of a 6 March judgment of the high court upholding an arbitral award against DMRC passed in May 2017. The high court had directed DMRC to pay Rs2,950 crore as compensation, along with interest, to DAMEPL, for breach of provisions of a ‘concession agreement’ between the two entities for construction, operation and maintenance of the Airport Metro Express Line project.

The court had directed DMRC to deposit Rs3,502.62 crore being 75% of the amount awarded under the arbitral award directly with project lenders—in the escrow account maintained with them in four weeks.

The project was a high speed metro rail line and intended to operate between New Delhi Metro and Dwarka Sector 21 via IGI Airport Terminal-3, over a stretch of 23km.

DMRC is required to pay Rs5,164.79 crore to DAMEPL as on 19 March with interest till the date of actual payment, RInfra’s media release stated.

DMRC has preferred an appeal against the 6 March judgement before the division bench of the high court.

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.

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