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SC clears SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh overseas travel amid dispute with Credit Suisse

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed SpiceJet’s managing director Ajay Singh to travel overseas, deferring a hearing related to a dispute between the airline and Credit Suisse to December.

The dispute revolves around a contempt plea by Credit Suisse concerning payment defaults by the low-cost carrier. SpiceJet told the court that it had met its obligation of a $1 million payment to Credit Suisse by 15 October, complying with a court-mandated schedule.

The court, having summoned Singh, agreed to his foreign travel. It mandated that the next payment to Credit Suisse be made by 15 November, setting the following hearing in December.

The top court had, in earlier sessions, allowed SpiceJet some respite, letting it remit $1 million monthly to Credit Suisse for half a year to settle overdue amounts. It had instructed a subsequent monthly payment of $500,000, noting a $3 million deficit in its payments.

Switzerland-based Credit Suisse had initiated a contempt plea last March against SpiceJet and Singh, pointing to alleged non-compliance with court directives and unpaid debt totaling $3.9 million from a prior agreement.

Back in November 2011, SpiceJet, then under Kalanithi Maran, had secured a decade-long service contract with SR Technics, a Swiss MRO firm. The Swiss company billed the airline, which in return issued bills of exchange. By 2012, SR Technics shifted payment rights from their SpiceJet contract to Credit Suisse. Non-payment of over $24 million by SpiceJet prompted Credit Suisse’s 2021 winding-up petition in the Madras high court.

By 6 December 2021, the court approved SpiceJet’s winding-up under the Companies Act 1956 and ordered asset seizure by an official liquidator. Challenging this, SpiceJet’s appeal to the apex court led to a stay on the order, with a three-week resolution timeframe.

SpiceJet, based in Gurugram, faces several legal issues over due payments and disputes with prior promoter, Kalanithi Maran.

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Updated: 20 Oct 2023, 02:37 PM IST

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