The Supreme Court recently reprimanded SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh for defaulting in making the due payments to global investment bank and financial services firm Credit Suisse AG and directed the parties to file proof of deposit of the installment, due on 15th September 2023 and also for an additional one million US Dollars out of the defaulted amount.

The Bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah warned the SpiceJet Chairman that he will be sent to Tihar jail for non-compliance with the Court's order of making payment to Credit Suisse AG. The Bench its order noted, "Admitted position is that, as on date, as per the terms of settlement dated 23rd May, 2022, which was duly endorsed by this Court vide order dated 18th August, 2022, there is an outstanding arrear amounting to 4 millions US Dollars according to the respondents and 4.5 millions US Dollars according to the petitioners."

The Bench further noted, "Today, a request has been made on behalf of the respondents seeking time to file a response and also to indicate the way forward so as to ensure full commitment to regularise the aforesaid settlement. As per the settlement, by the 15th of each month an amount of 500,000 US Dollars is to be paid/deposited by Spice Jet Ltd. to the petitioner(s). In view of the above, as prayed, list the matters on 22nd September, 2023"

Expressing frustration with the persistent delays, the Bench firmly informed Singh that he must adhere to the agreed-upon terms, cautioning, "We have to move to the next drastic step. We are not worried even if you shut down". The Court also orally observed that "We are not bothered even if you die. It is too much. We will send you to Tihar jail, if you do not pay."

The Supreme Court was dealing with the Contempt Petition filed by Credit Suisse against SpiceJet over "a wilful and intentional disobedience" of Court orders and failure to pay dues as per a settlement between the two sides. As per the Petitioner, SpiceJet had in 2011 availed the services for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of aircraft engines, modules, components, assemblies, and parts, which were mandatory for its operations for a period of 10 years. The Bench will now consider the matter on September 22, 2023.

The Court had on July 25 given additional time to SpiceJet to make the payment to Credit Suisse as per the consent terms agreed upon by the two parties. Earlier, the Court had stayed the operation of the Madras High Court verdict permitting winding-up petition and directing the official liquidator to take over the assets of the low-cost airline.

Recently, the Delhi High Court had directed SpiceJet to pay decree holders, Kal Airways and Kalanithi Maran, the entire outstanding amount qua interest on an arbitral award of Rs 578 crore.

Cause Title: Credit Suisse Ag & Anr. v. Ajay Singh & Anr [CONMT.PET.(C) No. 822/2023]

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