The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) told the Delhi High Court that the garnishment of his statutory expenses will result in the immediate halting of the entire Metro network in the national capital, and urged the court to review his order passed in a guilty plea by Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL), owned by Trusted Infrastructure.
DAMEPL has sought the payment of unpaid fees for DMRC pursuant to a 2017 arbitration award.
According to DMRC, the attachment of the ‘Total DMRC The funds, which include salaries, medical costs, post-retirement benefits for employees and smart card security deposits, will cause major disruption for more than 50 lakh commuters who use the metro network every day, leading to a Total chaos on the roads of Delhi.
Judge Yashwant Varma said he would allow the petition for review to be considered on March 29.
“In the meantime, please allow the Union of India and the Delhi government to also get proper instructions regarding the instructions framed in the March 17 order,” Judge Varma said.
He DMRC has applied for review of the March 17 order of the Delhi High Court.
On March 17, the high court ordered the DMRC to deposit all funds payable under an arbitration award to DAMEPL upon receipt of funds from the central and Delhi governments.
Judge Varma had ordered the two governments to honor DMRC’s request for an extension of the sovereign-guaranteed subordinated debt, which would allow it to settle its obligations under the award.
“If the DMRC is granted permission, it will proceed to deposit the entire amount payable under the award together with interest within one month. If the application is denied by the Union ministry or GNTCD, the Union shall within two weeks to reverse and repatriate all money received from DMRC after March 10, 2022,” the bank had said.
The DMRC was directed to send the full amount owed to DAMEPL, plus interest, to the escrow account upon receipt of the funds.
Judge Varma added: “In the event that DMRC fails to settle all outstanding amounts despite the above instructions, the court reserves the right to frame further appropriate instructions against the Union ministry and GNTCD as a consequence of the lifting of the corporate veil properly”.
The Center informed the high court on March 2 that it cannot sanction the seizure of the DMRC properties for reimbursing the unpaid arbitration award to DAMEPL, as it would bring the city to a standstill.
He had said that issuing the sanction would cause significant public inconvenience and impact law and order in the national capital.
“It is stated that the penalty for the seizure of the DMRC properties cannot be awarded by the responding defendant as that would result in the closure of the DMRC and paralyze the city of Delhi. Such a situation will cause great inconvenience to the public. and impact law and order in the city. The responding defendant, being the custodian of the public good, cannot allow such circumstances to occur,” the affidavit had stated.
An amount of Rs 1,678.42 crore has already been paid from the arbitral award, while the DMRC is yet to pay Rs 6,330.96 crore.
Attorney General R. Venkataramani had told the high court on January 31 that if the Center accepts interest-free subordinated debt on behalf of the DMRC to pay for Reliance Infra, the Delhi government will do the same.
Earlier in January this year, the DMRC had informed the court that it had applied to the Center and the Delhi government for an interest-free subordinated debt of Rs 3,565.64 crore from each to pay off the DAMEPL.
Both the Center and the Delhi government own 50 percent of DMRC shares, but neither agreed to pay.
The award under consideration resulted from a contract that the DMRC and DAMEPL signed in 2008 to build and operate the Delhi Metro Orange Line, which runs from the New Delhi railway station to Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport to the Dwarka Sector-21.
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