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Go First to challenge Delhi High Court order on inspection of planes by lessors

Go first update: Senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan appearing for the resolution professional of Go First told the NCLT today that the airline will challenge the high court order.

Edited By: Sheenu Sharma New Delhi Updated on: July 06, 2023 22:25 IST
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Image Source : PTI/ REPRESENTATIONAL (FILE). Go First aircraft

Go First update: Go First will challenge the Delhi High Court's ruling permitting its lessors to inspect the aircraft as there are inconsistencies with the order passed by the National Company Law Tribunal in the case, according to the grounded airline's resolution professional.

The cash-strapped budget carrier stopped flying from May 3 and is undergoing insolvency resolution process and aviation regulator DGCA is doing a special audit of the airline, which has sought approval for restarting operations.

On Thursday (July 6), senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan appearing for the resolution professional of Go First told the NCLT that the airline will challenge the high court order.

There are inconsistencies between the order passed by the single-member bench of the high court and the directions given by the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal).

"As things are presently advised, we are considering challenging it," he said.

Shailendra Ajmera is the resolution professional of the airline.

In its 46-page order passed on Wednesday (July 5), Delhi High Court Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju said the resolution professional "is not required to take control" of the assets owned by a third party.

The high court had also directed the DGCA to permit the lessors, their employees and agents to access the airport, where 30 aircraft are currently parked and to inspect them within three days.

As per the earlier NCLT order, the resolution professional is to keep the aircraft and engine, which are under his possession, as airworthy.

Know more about Go First insolvency matter: 

Go First is going through Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP). On May 10, the NCLT admitted the airline's voluntary plea for initiating the resolution proceedings. Srinivasan also told the tribunal that the DGCA has formed a special audit committee that will audit the aircraft and its readiness before permitting restarting of operations as per the business resumption plan.

The report of the DGCA is expected in a few days, he said. A funding of Rs 450 crore has also been secured from the lenders, he said, adding that the amount will help give an impetus to run the airline.

Meanwhile, the airline has filed its reply before the tribunal on the pleas filed by the lessors of aircraft and engines. The lessors alleged that the resolution professional is not maintaining their aircraft as per the NCLT's last order.

One of the lessors JSAIL (Jackson Square Aviation Ireland Ltd) told the tribunal everything the resolution professional is doing is detrimental to Go First. Its counsel Arun Kathpalia said holding the aircraft will only increase the costs and other troubles for Go First.

A two-member NCLT bench comprising Members Mahendra Khandelwal and Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar had granted lessors a week's time to file their rejoinder. The tribunal has directed to list the matter for hearing on August 4.

The NCLT was hearing a batch of petitions filed by nine lessors of Go First, including EOS Aviation, Accipiter Investments Aircraft, SMBC, Jackson Square Aviation, Engine Lease Finance and BOC Aviation.

The lessors have approached NCLT after the appellate tribunal NCLAT, in June, directed them to approach the tribunal over issues regarding the moratorium on their planes.

(With PTI inputs) 

ALSO READ: Go First update: Delhi High Court permits lessors to inspect aircraft | Here are FULL DETAILS

ALSO READ: DGCA plans to conduct 'special audit' of Go First facilities in Mumbai and Delhi on July 4-6


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