SpiceJet Gets Payment Reprieve From India’s Supreme Court
(Bloomberg) -- India’s Supreme Court stayed an order directing SpiceJet Ltd. to deposit 2.4 billion rupees ($32.5 million) with a lower court, a relief for the cash-strapped low-cost carrier.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde agreed to SpiceJet’s request to put on hold a Delhi High Court order to deposit the money, saying there was no precedent for such a directive to be given. The bench will hear the case again after another four weeks.
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SpiceJet and its chairman Ajay Singh are in a legal dispute with the carrier’s former owner, billionaire Kalanithi Maran, who claimed damages over a share transfer in 2014. The company was ordered to pay Maran the 2.4 billion rupees as part of a ruling in July 2018. SpiceJet disputes that figure, which is based on interest Maran claimed he was owed.
Like other airlines around the world, SpiceJet has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The carrier had cash and cash equivalents of 281.6 million rupees as of March 31, compared with current liabilities of 66.5 billion rupees and long-term liabilities of 79 billion rupees, latest available data show.
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