Business Standard

SC orders Spicejet to clear Credit Suisse dues

Have money to buy Go First but not pay the swiss company: Apex court raps Ajay Singh; tells him to pay dues by Mar 15

- BHAVINI MISHRA New Delhi, 19 February

“You have the money to buy Go First but not pay Credit Suisse,” the Supreme Court on Monday asked Spicejet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh while directing him to shell out the outstandin­g dues to the Swiss firm by March 15.

“Why don’t we take judicial notice of newspaper reports that you’re planning to take Goair (now Go First)? You have that much cushion and you won’t repay?” the court said while directing Singh to be present on the next date of hearing, which is March 22.

Credit Suisse and Spicejet have been entangled in a legal conflict since 2015 over outstandin­g debts of approximat­ely $24 million. Credit Suisse told the apex court it was to receive $15 million by February 15. However, only $13.75 million was paid.

In September last year, the court permitted Spicejet to pay the Swiss firm an extra $3 million in six months to settle its dues. Spicejet was already paying Credit Suisse $500,000 per month and the court directed it to pay an additional $500,000 per month for six months.

The court had observed Spicejet was behind on monthly payments by $3 million and directed the airline to regularise its payment from the seventh month ($500,000).

The court on Monday told the airline to pay $1.25 million by March 15 in addition to its monthly payments.

In August 2022, both parties informed the court of reaching an agreement. However, in March 2023, Credit Suisse initiated a contempt case against Singh and the airline, stating that Spicejet had not honoured its payment obligation­s outlined in the settlement terms.

In 2011, the airline had entered into a 10-year contract with Swiss maintenanc­e firm SRT Technics for aircraft servicing. In 2012, SRT transferre­d its right to recover the payment for maintenanc­e to Credit Suisse.

Singh and Busy Bee Airways Pvt Ltd (BBAPL) have jointly submitted a bid for insolvent airline Go First, which ceased to fly in May last year. Moreover, Sharjah-based Sky One announced submitting a bid for the airline.

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