SpiceJet heads for mediation with Maran

6-year-old share transfer row.

SpiceJet heads for mediation with Maran
Both the parties told Supreme Court that they would prefer the mediation route over arbitration.

The nearly six-year-old share transfer dispute between SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh and Kalanithi Maran and his KAL Airways may now go through a mediation process. On Tuesday, both the parties told Supreme Court that they would prefer the mediation route over arbitration. The apex court said it will consider the suggestion.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for SpiceJet, told a bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana that one out of the three pending issues with Maran had been settled in July and another four to six weeks were needed to resolve the remaining disputes.

On his part, senior counsel Vikas Singh, representing Maran and his Kal Airways, suggested mediation between the parties at the Hyderabad mediation centre. The suggestion was supported by Rohatgi.

Rohatgi said that the other two issues were unrelated to the share purchase dispute. One matter is related to a loan – backed by the security given by the respondents (Maran and others) – SpiceJet took from a lender. The airline has reached a settlement with the lender and the security would be released soon.

Also read SpiceJet agrees to settle dues of CUB in phased manner till June next year

Another outstanding issue is related to the prosecution of the respondents (Maran and others) for the delay in paying TDS. Rohatgi said that the parties were jointly planning to file for quashing of the case and needed four to six weeks to ensure that all settlements were made.

This is the second time that the apex court has granted time to SpiceJet and Maran to settle their share transfer dispute.

On April 12, the parties had told the SC that “nothing came out of the long meetings” for settling the dispute over the payment of interest. The CJI had then asked the concerned lawyers to talk to their clients and persuade them for a settlement.

In February, Maran had turned down the one-time settlement offer of `600 crore made by SpiceJet as part of ending all its pending disputes, including the share transfer issue, between the two parties.

The case relates to a dispute arising out of non-issuance of warrants in favour of Maran, after transfer of ownership to Ajay Singh in February 2015. Maran and his KAL Airways had transferred their entire 350.4 million equity shares in SpiceJet, amounting to a 58.46% stake to Singh for just `2. The airline’s total debt at that time was over `1,400 crore.

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