India court summons SpiceJet chief over unpaid dues

By Arpan Chaturvedi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India’s top court has asked airline SpiceJet’s managing director Ajay Singh to appear before the court and respond to a contempt case by Credit Suisse over unpaid dues, a lawyer involved in the case told Reuters.

Credit Suisse in March approached the top court seeking to initiate contempt proceedings against Singh and SpiceJet over “a wilful and intentional disobedience” of court orders and failure to pay dues of several million dollars as per a settlement between the two sides, a court filing shows.

SpiceJet said in a statement the debt was an old one which predated the tenure of its current management.

Still, the company will pay $4.4 million and any remaining balance as per the applicable schedule, a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

As per Indian law, anyone found guilty of civil contempt can be punished with a fine or simple imprisonment of up to six months or both.

Credit Suisse and SpiceJet have been engaged in a legal dispute since 2015 over Credit Suisse’s claim of unpaid dues of around $24 million, which led to the Madras High Court’s order that the airline be wound up in 2021.

In an appeal against the high court order, the top court suspended the winding-up proceedings, allowing both parties to discuss a settlement.

In August 2022, both sides informed the top court that they had agreed to settle the dispute.

But subsequently, in March, Credit Suisse filed a contempt case against managing director Ajay Singh, with the company secretary and the airline saying they had failed to pay dues as per the terms of settlement.

The top court has asked Singh to respond to the contempt case within four weeks.

(Reporting by Arpan ChaturvediEditing by Bernadette Baum)