Home / Companies / News /  HC asks Delhi govt, Centre to help DMRC pay RInfra

The Delhi high court on Friday directed the Centre and the Delhi government to immediately address Delhi Metro Rail Corp.’s (DMRC) request to extend sovereign guarantee, or interest-free debt, to help clear arbitral award dues to Reliance Infrastructure-owned Delhi Airport Metro Express.

“The decision be taken within a period of two weeks from today. If permission is accorded to the DMRC in respect of either of the two modes as suggested by it, it shall proceed to deposit the entire amount payable under the award along with up-to-date interest in terms thereof within one month," said a bench led by Justice Yashwant Varma. Delhi Airport Metro Express, a unit of Reliance Infrastructure, appro-ached the court to recover unpaid arbitral award dues of 7,200 crore from DMRC.

The high court added that if the Centre and the Delhi government decline the request, the Centre should repatriate all funds received by it from the Delhi Metro after 10 March 2022. Upon receipt of the money, the Delhi Metro shall transfer the dues to Reliance Infrastructure, the court said.

In case DMRC fails to clear its dues, the court said it reserves the right to frame further appropriate directions against the Union ministry and the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). On 18 January, DMRC, in a ditch effort to pay the dues, submitted before the high court that it had requested the Delhi government and the Centre to provide an interest-free subordinate debt of 3,565.64 crore each for paying its arbitration dues owed to Delhi Airport Metro.

In 2017, Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd won a 4,500 crore arbitration award against DMRC. The arbitral tribunal accepted the claim of Delhi Airport Metro that running trains on the airport line was not viable due to structural defects in the viaduct made by DMRC.

The Supreme Court in December directed the Delhi high court to execute within three months the arbitral award of 7,200 crore won by the Delhi Airport Metro Express against state-owned DMRC, of which an amount of 2,600 crore has already been disbursed.

Priyanka Gawande
Priyanka Gawande is a senior legal correspondent at Mint. She has worked as legal reporter for four years with both television and digital mediums. Based in Mumbai, she reports on disputes across sectors including banking, corporates and finance. This also includes insolvency and bankruptcy cases and intellectual property rights (IPR) litigation. Her focus also comprises tracking capital markets and disputes relating to securities law. Previously, Priyanka worked with Informist Media for 2.5 years covering major insolvency and bankruptcy cases and corporate developments. She started her career in journalism with Business Television India (BTVi) where she reported on primary markets, banking, finance and insurance companies.
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