SpiceJet’s appeal against a company court ruling admitting a winding-up petition and appointing an official liquidator was dismissed by the Madras High Court on Tuesday. (SpiceJet Ltd. v. Credit Suisse AG)
The appeal was considered in detail by a bench of Justices Paresh Upadhyay and Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup, who delayed their decision till Monday.
Spicejet was owing to Credit Suisse for more over $24 million, according to the response. After receiving no answer to a letter sent in this regard, the creditor filed for the company’s winding up.
The problem started when the airlines requested a payment delay from SR Technics for an engine maintenance service. It enlisted the help of the respondent for this goal. On behalf of the appellant, the respondent made payments to SR Technics. The non-payment of this amount to the respondent, on the other hand, resulted in the winding up petition.
The appellant claimed that any payment to SR Technics was subject to a significant challenge since they lacked a valid licence from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and hence could not properly maintain aircraft. As a result, the appellant asserted that there was no such thing as a payment. Furthermore, they claimed that the respondent’s documents were not stamped, and that as a result, Indian courts would not have jurisdiction over them.
The appellant requested that the company court’s ruling admitting the winding up petition and appointing a provisional liquidator be set aside in light of these arguments
The appellant’s arguments, on the other hand, were judged to be without merit by the High Court. In response to the argument about document stamping, the Court pointed out that when a winding up petition is admitted, the issue is not whether the document sought to be relied on is suitably stamped or stamped at all.
At that point, the only thing that needed to be checked was if the debt was legitimately disputed and whether the defence was substantial. The corporate court and the Bench both answered in the negative, concluding that the defence was not genuine.
The appellant’s allegation that there was a genuine payment dispute was flatly rejected by the Division Bench. “Record shows that the appellant Company blows hot and cold together to suit its convenience,” the Court noted this while examining the argument that if the appellant had known about SR Technics’ lack of DGCA approval, it would not have hired them. As a result, the Court found no basis to overturn the business court’s decision, except in the case of the time limit.The stay granted by the Company Court was prolonged until January 28th, and the appeals were dismissed.