DMRC to deposit Rs 600 crore for DAMEPL in escrow account in two days: HC told
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it will deposit Rs 600 crore in the escrow account of Reliance Infrastructure arm Delhi Airport Metro Express within two days even as the latter sought enforcement of the arbitration award of over Rs 7,000 crore, including interest, that it had won in May 2017.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait reserved its judgment on a petition by DAMEPL seeking enforcement of the arbitration award enforceable against DMRC.
Even the Supreme Court had on September 9 upheld the Rs 4,600-crore arbitration award in favour of Anil Ambani’s group firm.
However, both sides have differed on how much additional interest has accrued on the amount. While DMRC says the liability now stands at around Rs 5,000 crore, the RInfra arm says it is close to Rs 7,000 crore now and increasing each passing day.
During the hearing on Monday, the HC observed that if government declined to follow the arbitrator’s order, the award may just become a “paper award”.
The judge also said that a solution has to be found to deal with such situations when government finds unable to implement the rulings.
While DMRC said that it has Rs 6,208.03-crore funds lying in various banks, its senior counsel Prag Tripathi argued that that it cannot use whatever money is in its account to pay off the airport express operator, as the grants received from the Consolidated Fund of India do not belong to it, and are earmarked for infrastructure development.
The money lying in its bank accounts is earmarked for various projects for metro development and the same did not belonged to it.
Besides, the corporation does not have any power to dispose of the same, he said, adding that out of the funds lying in its bank accounts, DMRC can only use Rs 600 crore to pay DAMEPL.
DAMEPL senior counsel Rakesh Khanna argued that DMRC was trying to draw a line between government funds and its own money, while being a company owned entirely between the Centre and the Delhi government.
Besides, the government grants can be used to fulfil legal obligations of a PSU, he said.
Earlier, the High Court had asked DMRC to furnish details of its bank accounts in India and abroad and how much money is lying in these bank accounts, even as DMRC cited financial inability to pay pending dues of over Rs 6,000 crore to DAMEPL.
Check the source here –Source, Financial Express.