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Delhi HC gives DMRC another chance to pay its dues to Reliance Infra arm

Delhi HC gives DMRC another chance to pay its dues to Reliance Infra arm

Delhi HC gives DMRC another chance to pay its dues to Reliance Infra arm
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By Jomy Jos Pullokaran  Oct 10, 2022 7:18:58 PM IST (Published)

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) got till October 31 to come up with a repayment plan after playing the commuter card. It is pushing the Centre and the Delhi government to come up with a Rs 4,447.56-crore rescue package.

After Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) failed to make the outstanding payment of Rs 4,447.56 crore to Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd (DAMEPL), the Delhi High Court on Monday (October 10) granted extra time till October 31, 2022, to come up with a repayment plan.

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DAMEPL is a joint venture of Reliance Infrastructure (R-Infra) and a Spanish construction company — Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles — with a shareholding of 95 and 5 percent, respectively.
The DMRC told the Delhi High Court that it is pushing the Centre and the Delhi government to come up with a rescue package to repay the Rs 4,447.56 crore arbitral award. Also, the DMRC argued that any adverse orders will affect over 45 lakh daily journeys that take place on Delhi Metro.
Appearing for DMRC, Attorney-General of India R .Venkataramani informed the court that DMRC is looking to honour the arbitral award in a way that is comfortable for Delhi's commuters.
He said DMRC is trying to convince both the Centre and Delhi governments to come to its rescue and is pushing for a quick solution.
This comes after the Supreme Court in May this year upheld a Delhi High Court order directing DMRC to pay over Rs 4,600 crore of the arbitral award along with interest to the DAMEPL in two equal instalments in two months.
The high court on March 10, 2022, had directed the DMRC to pay over Rs 4,600 crore of the arbitral award along with interest to DAMEPL. The court had said the first and second instalments shall be paid on or before April 30 and May 31 this year.
An arbitral tribunal in its May 2017 award had ruled in favour of DAMEPL, which had pulled out from running the Airport Express metro line over safety issues, and accepted its claim that the running of operations on the line was not viable due to structural defects in the viaduct through which the train would run. The arbitral award pertained to a concession agreement between the two entities, which was signed on August 25, 2008.
Under the agreement, the DMRC was to carry out civil works, excluding at the depot. The balance, including the project system works, were to be executed by DAMEPL.
DAMEPL had borrowed from 11 banks — Axis Bank, UCO Bank, Punjab, and Sind Bank, Andhra Bank, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank, Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of India, IIFC UK, and Canara Bank London — to carry out operations on the line.
The Airport Express line was commissioned on February 23, 2011, after an investment of over Rs 2,885 crore, funded by the DAMEPL’s promoters’ fund, banks, and financial institutions.
 
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