Chennai-based Sun Group today said there's "no question" of making an amicable settlement with SpiceJet Ltd as the matter of arbitration award payable by the budget airline has reached finality after the Supreme Court's July-7 order in the case.
"There is no question of an amicable settlement with SpiceJet Ltd in view of the matter having reached finality by virtue of the order dated July 7, 2023, of the Honourable Supreme Court of India," the statement by SL Narayanan, group CFO, Sun Group, said.
The Supreme Court last week had directed the budget airline to pay the entire arbitral amount worth ₹380 crore to its former promoter Maran, in the 2018 arbitration award case.
While refusing to grant any extension to SpiceJet to pay the said amount, the SC reprimanded the Ajay Singh-led budget carrier for failing to pay ₹75 crore as per its earlier direction.
Sun's statement comes after certain media reports cited a SpiceJet spokesperson as saying that the Ajay Singh-led budget airline is in talks with Kalanithi Maran and his company Kal Airways Pvt Ltd for an "amicable settlement".
The Sun group has also said that it hopes SpiceJet Ltd will comply with the orders of the SC and pay the interest amount.
SpiceJet, meanwhile, also issued a statement today, saying the payment of Rs 380 crore as directed to be paid by the Supreme Court in the matter relating to Maran and his firm KAL Airways is only a "security deposit amount arising from execution proceedings".
The airline also said that the final amount to be paid by either side will be "determined by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in the proceeding pending under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act". It also added that orders in this petition have been reserved on 18 April 2023 and are awaited.
"We would also like to clarify that SpiceJet had in May 2023 approached the Supreme Court seeking an extension for paying Rs 75 crore but the matter was only listed on July 7. The Hon’ble Courts’ proceedings and orders are held in the highest esteem by the company," SpiceJet said, again reiterating that in the larger interest, the company remains committed to finding an "amicable settlement" in this matter.
The apex court's last week order followed its February 13 direction to the airline to pay ₹75 crore against the total claim worth ₹362.49 crore by Maran within three months, on which the airline defaulted. In May, Maran had moved the Delhi High Court, stating that Spicejet had failed to comply with the SC order, following which the HC ordered the airline to pay the entire amount i.e. ₹380 crore to the airline's former promoter.
The airline stock is trading 2.10% up at ₹30.12 on the NSE today, but it dropped 4.80% in the past week. The no-frills airline has witnessed a consistent drop in its market share over the past few months. Its market share dropped to 5.4% in May from 6.4% in March, as per the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) data.