DMRC asks Supreme Court to urgently take up its curative petition in DAMEPL case

ByAbraham Thomas
Mar 24, 2023 07:09 PM IST

Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud told attorney general R Venkatramani that the DMRC’s curative petition will be taken up soon

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Friday asked the Supreme Court to urgently take up its curative petition against the top court’s 2021 order that required it to pay Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL), a subsidiary of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited an amount to the tune of over 8,000 crore.

Supreme Court (HT File Photo)
Supreme Court (HT File Photo)

Attorney general R Venkatramani told a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud that the curative petition was pending since August last year and requires to be heard urgently following a recent Delhi high court verdict directing the Centre and Delhi government to extend a sovereign guarantee to DMRC to pay the outstanding amount to DAMEPL as part of an arbitral award.

“The curative petition needs to be heard immediately otherwise by March 31, DMRC will come to a halt,” the Centre’s top law officer said, pointing that the high court has given two weeks for the Centre and Delhi government to act upon DMRC’s request to clear its liabilities under the award.

The bench, also comprising justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, assured Venkatramani that the matter will be circulated among the other judges forming part of the bench.

The curative petition is taken up by a bench headed by CJI along with two senior most judges and the judges who authored the earlier decision, if present.

“The matter could not be listed earlier as Justice Bhat was travelling. We will list it soon by circulation,” the CJI said.

DMRC, a 50:50 joint venture between the Government of India (GOI) and the Delhi government, terminated its contract with DAMEPL to operate the 22.7km Airport Metro Express line in October 2012. An arbitral tribunal, in May 2017, ruled in favour of DAMEPL, which pulled out of running the Airport Express metro line over safety issues. The award was upheld by the high court’s single-judge bench in 2018 but a two-judge bench set it aside in 2019.

When the case came to the top court, the Supreme Court upheld the initial verdict awarding damages to DAMEPL in September 2021. The DMRC filed a review petition which was dismissed by a two-judge bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao (since retired) and justice S Ravindra Bhat in November 2021. The metro rail corporation has deposited an amount of 1678.42 crore out of the total liability of 8009.38 crore.

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