Kingfisher Airlines on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court against Punjab National Bank’s notice alleging that the carrier has wilfully defaulted payments of outstanding dues of over Rs. 770 crore. The case will come up for hearing on Wednesday.
Kingfisher has sought directions to the bank to rescind the notice and also restrain it from taking any action against the airline, pursuant to the same. Its petition has also made the ministry of finance and the bank as parties in the case.
The PSU-bank had also said in the August 21, 2014 notice that if no reply is received within seven days then the airline and its guarantors, United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd (UBHL) and Vijay Mallya would be declared “wilful defaulters”.
The airline has contended that the bank had denied legal representation to it in the hearings held pursuant to the two notices issued last year and it apprehends that the same may happen in connection with the latest notice.
It has contended that such act on part of the bank is “arbitrary, unreasonable, untenable and unlawful”.
The airline has contended that the August 21 notice “for the first time and as a complete after thought has sought to rely on additional alleged facts in support of its decision to classify the petitioner, UBHL and Vijay Mallya as wilful defaulters”.
The bank has issued the notices under the July 1, 2013 master circular of Reserve Bank of India which pertains to steps to be taken by commercial banks with respect to non-performing assets.
India’s largest lender State Bank of India has sent a ‘wilful default’ notice to the airline in September 2013 after attempts at recovering dues from the airline did not yield results.