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Difficult for Jet to prove case: Experts

Jet has argued that as per agreement, Sahara was bound to return Rs 500 cr.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2006 21:32 IST

Unconvinced by Jet Airways' claims to get back Rs 500 crore paid as advance for Air Sahara's takeover, legal experts say it will be difficult for country's largest airline to prove its case.

"It would solely depend on the outcome of the arbitration and who receives how much from the escrow account," senior Supreme Court lawyer Lalit Bhasin said.

Bhasin, who specialises in corporate affairs, said it would not be easy for either of the two to recover the amount from the ICICI bank (the escrow account holder).

Jet, which has already lost Rs 100 crore as 'commitment fee', in a petition filed in Supreme Court, had argued that as per the Share Purchase Agreement, Sahara was bound to return Rs 500 crore within a week if the deal collapsed.

However, Bhasin said this condition may apply only if both parties were held responsible for the deal's failure. But as both were blaming each other for failure, the money could even be divided, he said.

Diljeet Titus, another corporate lawyer, is of view that Sahara has more valid points than Jet Airways.

"Jet cannot complain it did not know the internal mess in Sahara Air. Sale of Sahara was an open bid and included its assets and liabilities. It was well evaluated by Ernst & Young a firm of international repute," he said.

Legal experts also differ on the duration in which Jet and Sahara could withdraw money from the escrow account, as the matter has become complex and both sides filed petitions in various courts.

Supreme Court lawyer Atul Sharma, who handles the case of Reliance Airport Developers against the award of Delhi airport to GMR, said it would take at least one year.