Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has allowed Jet Airways to withdraw Rs1,500 crore deposited by it in an escrow account for acquiring smaller rival Air Sahara. Jet will get the deposit amount while the interest will go to Air Sahara.
"Jet will have the right to withdraw Rs1,500 crore against bank guarantee of the same amount," Justice D K Deshmukh said in his order. Jet counsel Harish Salve said Jet Airways would submit the bank guarantee on Monday.
This is an interim order and the remaining formalities regarding the dispute will be decided by the arbitration tribunal, he said.
"Now Jet has got the right to withdraw the amount in the escrow account. This is an interim order, which shall be modified subjected to the arbitration tribunal's decision," he said.
The arbitration tribunal consists of retired chief justices S P Bharucha, Jeevan Reddy and Lord Stein. It will hear the case on October 9.
Jet Airways had paid Rs180 crore upfront for revival of Air Sahara and another Rs500 crore in lieu of Air Sahara shares pledged with it, besides the Rs1,500 crore deposited in the escrow account opened at the Nariman Point, Mumbai branch of ICICI Bank for the purpose. Jet had earlier said it was loosing Rs 22 lakh per day on account of funds being locked up following the collapse of the deal.
The deal fell through on June 21 for want of regulatory clearances and Sahara moved a Lucknow court to obtain an order restraining Jet from operating the escrow account.