“So I think by December 12, they should be able to do a next round of meeting and have some understanding so that both the parties contribute their 50 per cent,” the law officer said.
He added that the court may take up the matter on December 12 and in case there is a need for a further direction, he will come and explain the difficulties.
The submissions were made by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in a pending application of the Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) which said DMRC paid it only Rs 166.44 crore on March 14 and sought a direction for payment of Rs 4427.41 crore.
During the hearing, senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing DAMEPL, submitted that the situation has become worse and the attorney general had earlier sought time to place the modalities with respect to payment of the outstanding amount in terms of the arbitral award but nothing has been done yet.
The court then asked the law officer as to how long will it take for the matter to be worked out.
To this, the AG responded that the DMRC cannot pay out of its pocket and that nothing would be gained by attaching the Delhi Metro, and that its services will come to a halt.
The court granted time to DMRC to work out the modalities and listed the matter for further hearing on December 12.
The DMRC, in its additional affidavit, has said that its request to the Centre to bear 50 per cent of the arbitral award will be examined by the government in entirety for taking an informed decision.
It has also informed the court that the Delhi government, being an equity holder, has asked the corporation to submit updated and complete details for considering its request to bear another 50 per cent of the arbitral award and take an appropriate decision.
The DMRC has said a meeting was held under the chairmanship of the secretary of Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on November 10 to discuss the matter pending before the high court. It was attended by the Delhi Chief Secretary, Managing Director of the DMRC and representatives of leading banks.
The DMRC urged the court to pass an order in the matter after the outcome of the consideration and approval of the corporation’s request by both the equity partners – Centre and Delhi government– is placed before the court.
On October 31, the DMRC had informed the court that a meeting with the Centre, Delhi government and other stakeholders was scheduled for November 10 to discuss the modalities of payment of the balance arbitral award to DAMEPL.
On October 10, it told the court that it has requested the Centre and the Delhi government for funds for payment of the balance arbitral award.
The metro rail said if any adverse orders were passed against it at this point of time, millions of commuters will be simply told they cannot use the Delhi Metro.
The attorney general, representing the DMRC, had said though it was important to comply with the decree for payment of award to DAMEPL, the concerns of the Delhi Metro were equally important.
On March 10, the high court had directed the DMRC to pay the over Rs 4,600 crore arbitral award along with interest to DAMEPL in two equal installments within two months.
The first and second installments were to be paid on or before April 30 and May 31, respectively.
The direction had come on DAMEPL’s execution petition filed against the DMRC over the arbitral award passed in its favour on May 11, 2017.
An arbitral tribunal had ruled in favour of DAMEPL, which had pulled out of running the Airport Express metro line over safety issues, and accepted its claim that running the operations on the line was not viable due to structural defects in the viaduct through which the train would pass. PTI SKV RCJ