Delhi Metro’s Plea For Refund Of ₹ 678 Crore Paid To Reliance Infra Lenders Rejected

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Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed the Restitution Application of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) that sought a refund of ₹ 678 crore paid by the company to the lenders of Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd, (DAMEPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Limited, in 2018. A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh dismissed the DMRC plea.

“Learned counsel for the appellant states that the Supreme Court has dismissed the Review Application preferred in Civil Appeal No. 5627/2021 read with Civil Appeal No. 5628/2021 in respect of the order dated09.09.2021. Consequently, this application does not survive. The same is, accordingly, dismissed,” the court said.

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This money was paid by DMRC to the lenders of Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) pursuant to the order of Delhi High Court Single Judge Bench that had upheld the ₹ 47,00 crore arbitration award in favour of DAMEPL.

In January 2019, the Division Bench of Delhi High Court, while setting aside the Arbitration Award, had allowed DMRC to file an appeal against the Single Judge Bench’s order of May 2018 and also allowed DMRC to seek a refund of ₹ 678.42 crore paid by the company to DAMEPL’s lenders from time to time,

To claim the refund, DMRC had filed a Restitution Application in February 2019 in Delhi HC. The Supreme Court recently upheld a 2017 arbitration award that made Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) liable to pay damages of around ₹ 2,800 crore with interest to Reliance Infrastructure Ltd.

Reliance Infrastructure’s unit had in 2008 entered into a mutual contract with Delhi Metro for running the country’s first private city rail project till 2038. As disputes arose over fee and operations in 2012, Ambani’s firm stopped operating the capital’s airport metro project and initiated an arbitration case against Delhi Metro alleging violation of contract and sought a termination fee.

The arbitration was earlier challenged in the Delhi High Court. Reliance Infra had then challenged this decision of the two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court before the Supreme Court. The top court has now set aside the Delhi High Court order and asked the DMRC to honour the arbitral award.

The Supreme Court has also ruled that this amount of ₹ 2,800 crore will be paid back to the company with the interest accrued over a period of eight years. This money will be given by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited to Reliance Infrastructure.

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