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Jet Sahara dispute hearing put off till April 9

Jet Airways and Air Sahara are locked in a legal battle over Rs 500 crore lying in escrow account.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2007 23:20 IST
Lalatendu Mishra & Sunil Shivdasan
Lalatendu Mishra & Sunil Shivdasan

Jet Airways and Air Sahara, locked in a legal battle over Rs 500 crore lying in escrow account following the aborted takeover of the latter, on Tuesday agreed to defer their plea for interim relief to April 9 before the arbitration tribunal.

While Jet is claiming back Rs 500 crore given as advance to Air Sahara towards the Rs 3,020 crore take over bid, Air Sahara has claimed the balance of the bid amount from Jet asking it to honor the share purchase agreement.

Legal sources on the condition on anonymity told Hindustan Times that during the hearing before the arbitration tribunal on Tuesday both the parties agreed to postpone their respective applications seeking interim relief to April 9.

Jet officials were not available to comment and they are likely to issue a statement on Wednesday. When contacted by HT, Air Sahara president Alok Sharma said, "We don’t comment on matters that are subjudice." 

The development has put both the airlines in a tight spot at least till April. While Air Sahara is already reeling under financial crunch and needs the fresh lease of life, Jet Airways already outlining major investment plans is desperately trying to release the blocked funds.

Jet Airways had last year filed an arbitration petition in the Bombay High Court seeking interim relief of Rs 500 crore along with interest saying that Air Sahara had not honoured the share purchase agreement reached between them on January 2006.
Air Sahara in its submission alleged that Jet Airways wanted to go back on the deal as it had not got approval from the regulatory authority while Jet Airways claimed that share purchase agreement clearly stated that such a take over bid would be subject to necessary approval.

Hearing the petition, the High Court had referred the dispute to an Arbitration Tribunal in keeping with the clause mentioned in the Share
Purchase Agreement.

Justice SP Bharucha and Justice BP Jeevan Reddy, both retired judges of the Supreme Court, are on the panel as nominees of Jet and Air Sahara respectively. British judge Lord Stein heads the tribunal.

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