The Supreme Court of Friday rejected Jalan-Kalrock Consortium’s (JKC), the successful bidder of the grounded Jet Airways, plea seeking extension of deadline to deposit Rs 150 crore. Furthermore, the court has also refused to in interfere with its earlier January 18 orders, claiming that the new application by JKC is “misconceived.”
On January 18, the SC had asked JKC to deposit Rs 150 crore in an escrow account with the State Bank of India by January 31, failing which consequences shall follow.
The apex court had also set aside an order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal that allowed the consortium to adjust Rs 150 crore from an existing performance bank guarantee (PBG) for infusing Rs 350 crore during the insolvency process. However, it said that PBG shall remain in operation and the consequence would depend on the final outcome of the appeals before the appellate tribunal.
The bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that the issue whether the successful resolution applicant has complied with all the conditions laid in the resolution plan will be looked into by the NCLAT, which will decide the petitions expeditiously by the end of March.
The CJI also orally said that it was not inclined to grant any relief to Jet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Welfare Association, which want gratuity and provident fund (PF) dues to be paid to its workers. However, no formal orders were passed with regard to the trade union body’s plea opposing transfer of the PF and gratuity dues during the insolvency period to Airjet Ground Services Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the debt-ridden airline.
The State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders had told the SC that the resolution plan of the Jalan-Kalrock consortium for the debt-laden airline cannot be implemented as it had not taken any appropriate steps to meet its obligations. As such, the debt-ridden airline should be wound up and a liquidation process initiated as the successful resolution applicant had no intention to implement the resolution plan, it stated.
The total claim of the financial creditors is around Rs 7800 crore.