Budget carrier SpiceJet today claimed in Delhi High Court that its decision directing the airline to deposit Rs 579 crore within 12 months in connection with a share transfer dispute with its previous owner Kalanithi Maran was “erroneous”.
The submission was made before a bench of justices Indira Banerjee and V K Rao during the hearing of the airline’s appeal contending that the dispute has to be decided by arbirtration and the single judge of the high court had exceeded his jurisdiction.
The single judge’s decision had come on a plea of Sun Group chief Kalanithi Maran and his Kal Airways for issuance of stock warrants in SpiceJet to them, as per a sale-purchase agreement (SPA) of 2015 that had led to the transfer of ownership of the budget carrier to its co-founder Ajay Singh.
Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for the air carrier, said “this matter needs to be decided in arbitration. The final decree cannot be passed by the court. It can only be done by arbitrator”.
“How can a court pass an interim order when it cannot pass the final order,” Sundaram argued and added that “the approach taken by the single judge was erroneous. He exceeded his jurisdiction. There is an error committed by the single judge.”
The arguments, which remained inconclusive, will resume tomorrow. Maran and his airline had alleged before the single judge that despite giving Rs 579 crore to SpiceJet, the carrier had failed to issue them the warrants or allot tranche 1 and 2 of Convertible Redeemable Preference Shares and that the amount was not utilised for paying statutory dues due to which they were also facing prosecution.