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Jet Airways can withdraw Rs 1,500 crore

india Updated: Sep 23, 2006 01:32 IST
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JET AIRWAYS got a reprieve from the Bombay High Court over its failed merger with Air Sahara. On Friday, the private carrier was allowed to withdraw Rs 1,500 crore deposited by it in an escrow account as per the agreement for acquiring rival Air Sahara.

Justice D.K. Deshmukh passed an interim order in all the four cases related to the failed merger bid. "Jet Airways will have the right to withdraw Rs 1,500 crore against bank guarantee of the same amount, " he said. Speaking to reporters, lawyer for Jet, Harish Salve, said the carrier will submit the bank guarantee on Monday.

The amount in the escrow account, maintained at ICICI's Nariman Point branch here, will be returned to Jet and the interest accrued on the same will go to Air Sahara. The remaining formalities regarding the escrow account and all other related disputes will be decided by the arbitration tribunal.

The arbitration tribunal comprises retired Chief Justices S.P. Bharucha, Jeevan Reddy and Lord Stein. It will hear the case on October 9.

In January this year, Jet Airways signed an agreement to acquire 100 per cent equity stake in Air Sahara. Jet had paid Rs 180 crore for revival of Air Sahara and Rs 500 crore for the latter's shares, besides depositing Rs 1,500 crore in the escrow account. After the deal fell through — as Jet failed to get regulatory clearances by the deadline of June 21 as per the agreement — Sahara moved a court in Lucknow seeking to bar Jet from operating the escrow account.

The Supreme Court had in August transferred two petitions filed by Sahara in a Lucknow court to the Bombay High Court for hearing. Jet had already filed two separate petitions before the Bombay High Court.  

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