German aircraft leasing firm DVB Aviation Finance Asia PTE Ltd won a legal battle on Monday against grounded Kingfisher Airlines with the Delhi high court asking aviation regulator DGCA to deregister two leased-out planes lying at Istanbul in Turkey.
"The petition is allowed. DGCA is directed to deregister the two aircraft which are lying outside the jurisdiction of this court," justice Rajiv Shakdher said and asked the Vijay Mallya-owned airlines to furnish original documents of two leased aircraft to the German firm within four weeks.
Citing a previous judgement on the issue, the court said the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) cannot withhold the deregistration of the aircraft on the ground that the airlines owe money to the government and its agencies.
"It is made clear that if any dues remain payable from the airlines, the respondent (DGCA) can take recourse to appropriate measures against respondent 2 (Kingfisher)," justice Shakdher said.
The court also considered an 'irrevocable power of attorney' executed by Kingfisher Airlines which had given power to the MNC firm to seek deregistration of planes from DGCA if breach of lease agreement takes place.
It said DGCA rules provide that the deregistration process cannot be held back.
However, DGCA had taken the stand that the process of deregistration required consent from both the airlines and the firm which has leased out the aircraft.
Kingfisher Airlines did not file its response to the petition filed by the MNC firm.
The German firm had earlier moved the court seeking a direction to the aviation sector regulator to deregister two Kingfisher planes it had leased.
Earlier, DGCA had deregistered 15 aircraft of Kingfisher to enable the leasing companies to take them back on grounds of default on their lease rentals by the grounded carrier.