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Anil Ambani faces massive setback, Rs 8000 crore arbitral award for Reliance firm now…

Anil Ambani faces a major setback as the Supreme Court has set aside the Rs 8000 crore arbitral award in favour of Reliance Infrastructure's metro arm, Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL). The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the High Court's division bench citing patent illegality. "The amounts deposited by DMRC shall be refunded. Any amount paid by the petitioner as part of coercive action has to be refunded," a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court bench had reserved its verdict on Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)'s curative plea against dismissing its review petition challenging Rs 8000 crore arbitral award in favour of Anil Ambani’s DAMEPL.

For those who are unaware, DMRC and DAMEPL signed an agreement to design, install, commission, operate, and maintain the Airport Metro Express Line that runs from New Delhi Railway Station to Sector 21 Dwarka. The agreement was signed for a 30-year term.

While Anil Ambani’s DAMEPL was responsible for all system works, DMRC was taking care of construction of all civil structures. In 2012, DAMEPL decided to suspend operations citing issues found in the viaduct and issued a notice to DMRC which was responsible for this aspect. Later that year, DAMEPL served a termination notice, leading to authorities conducting inspections in November 2012.

Although DAMEPL restarted the line in January 2013, the company withdrew from the project within five months which pushed DMRC to invoke the arbitration clause in the contract. The arbitral tribunal later ruled in favour of DAMEPL, instructing DMRC to pay Rs 2782.33 crore in 2017.

After some time, a Delhi High Court’s division bench later overturned the arbitral tribunal's decision. Subsequently, the Anil Ambani-led company's arm approached the Supreme Court in 2021 which ruled that arbitral tribunal awards are not subject to challenge and upheld the award.

Following the Supreme Court’s order, DMRC filed a curative petition, which the apex court granted on April 10, 2024. By the end of 2021, the original arbitral award had grown to Rs 7045.41 crore. By then, DMRC had paid Rs 1,000 crore and informed the court that it was unable to pay the full arbitral award. As of now, the amount has increased to Rs 8,000 crore.

Source : DNA India