Pay outstanding amount to DAMEPL or will summon your MD: HC to Delhi Metro

The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to pay the money it owes to Reliance Infrastructure-promoted Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) in four weeks in compliance with the 2017 arbitral award, which pertains to the Delhi Airport Metro Express Line.

“It is made clear that if the amount is not paid within four weeks, the Court shall be constrained to call the appearance of the Managing Director of the DMRC before this Court,” said Justice V. Kameswar Rao in an order.

In 2008, DMRC signed a contract with DAMEPL, related to the design, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the line. DMRC in 2012 invoked arbitration after DAMEPL terminated the concession agreement on the grounds that defects pointed out in construction were not cured by DMRC within the stipulated 90 days. The Supreme Court in September upheld the 2017 arbitral award favouring DAMEPL.

DMRC had earlier told the court that it has called for proposals for raising a loan from various banks for the amount due as it does not have the money to pay the Reliance Infra subsidiary. The DMRC had argued before the court that funds earmarked for construction of Metro lines cannot be attached and also rolling stock, tracks, plant, machinery, building, etc., cannot also be attached in view of the bar under section 89 of The Metro Railways Act, 2002.

The court on September 6 was informed that DMRC’s appeal against the March 10 order directing it to pay DAMEPL has been dismissed by the Supreme Court. While the counsel representing DMRC sought four weeks to pay the balance amount, senior advocate Harish Salve for DAMEPL submitted that no further time should be granted as the March 10 order was not adhered to and even further time granted till August 5 was not complied with.

However, the court said it deems it appropriate to direct that the balance amount in terms of the award be made within a period of four weeks and listed the matter for hearing on October 10.

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