No relief to Paramount Airways from apex court


New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday sought responses from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and two British firms to a Paramount Airways suit, opposing the DGCA de-registering and grounding its fleet for non-payment of dues to the British firms from which it had leased three planes.

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While issuing notices to the DGCA and British firms GE Capital Aviation Service Ltd and Celestial Aviation Trading, a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, however, refused to grant any relief to the Coimbatore-based airways.

The bench, which included Justice Deepak Verma and Justice B.S. Chauhan, refused to accede to Paramount’s plea to restrain the British firms from seizing the planes and taking them away.

During the arguments, the bench asked Paramount’s counsel K.K. Venugopal to consider giving to the British firms a substantial sum from their claim of $10 million to enable the court to restrain the foreign firms from seizing the planes.

But with Venugopal agreeing to give no more than US $1 million to the British firms, the bench refrained from giving any relief to Paramount Airways.

The airways came to the apex court contesting a Delhi High Court ruling which validated the DGCA’s December 2009 order to deregister and ground Paramount’s planes. The high court gav the order on the two British firms’s plea that the airways was refusing to pay their dues since October 2009.

The Delhi High Court subsequently, through a temporary ruling on the airways’s plea against the DGCA order, allowed it to fly the planes but eventually endorsed the DGCA order.

The matter earlier also reached a London court, which directed the airways to pay the $10 million dues by March 10.