The Delhi High Court has dismissed an application by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) seeking a refund of Rs 678 crore which was paid by it to the lenders of Reliance Infrastructure subsidiary DAMEPL in 2018.
The money was paid by DMRC to Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) pursuant to a single judge's order which had upheld the around Rs 4,600 crore arbitral award in favour of DAMEPL.
The high court said since the Supreme Court has already dismissed the review petition filed by DMRC challenging the arbitral award, this restitution application does not survive.
Counsel for the appellant (DMRC) states that the Supreme Court has dismissed the Review Application preferred.in respect of the order dated September 9, 2021. Consequently, this application does not survive. The same is, accordingly, dismissed, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said in its December 1 order.
Besides, Rs 678 crore, DMRC had also sought Rs 65.72 crore as interest on the amount.
On November 23, the Supreme Court has dismissed DMRC's plea seeking review of its September 9 judgement which upheld the 2017 arbitration award of around Rs 4,600 crore in favour of DAMEPL, enforceable against it.
In January 2019, the division bench of the high court, while setting aside the arbitral award, had allowed DMRC to file an application for restitution of the amounts tendered by it to the lenders of DAMEPL, as per the interim order of the single judge.
The division bench's order had come on DMRC's appeal against a single judge's March 6, 2017 order upholding the arbitral award in favour of DAMEPL.
To claim the refund, DMRC had filed the restitution application in February 2019.
The arbitral tribunal, in its May 2017, the award had accepted DAMEPL's claim that the running of operations on the line was not viable due to structural defects in the viaduct through which the train would run.
Under the agreement between the two, if the contract to run the Airport metro line was terminated due to DAMEPL's fault, DMRC would have to pay 80 per cent of the debt, while if it was the metro's fault, then the PSU would have to pay 100 per cent of the debt and 130 per cent of the equity.
DAMEPL had borrowed from 11 banks -- Axis Bank, UCO Bank, Punjab, and Sind Bank, Andhra Bank, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank, Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of India, IIFC UK, and Canara Bank London -- to carry out operations on the line.
The concession agreement between the two was signed on August 25, 2008. Under the agreement, DMRC was to carry out the civil works, excluding at the depot, and the balance, including the project system works, were to be executed by DAMEPL, a joint venture of Rinfra and a Spanish construction company -- Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles -- with a shareholding of 95 and five per cent respectively.
The Airport Express line was commissioned on February 23, 2011, after an investment of over Rs 2,885 crore, funded by the DAMEPL's promoters' fund, banks, and financial institutions.
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