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Devas shareholders seize $55 mn of Indian govt money in Canada

Devas shareholders have seized $55 million in Indian government assets in Canada to enforce an arbitration award they won against cancellation of a satellite deal, their counsel said in a statement.

A Canadian court had granted Devas shareholders the right to seize assets belonging to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) in Montreal to enforce the $111 million award by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Matthew D McGill, Counsel to Devas shareholders, said: “The announcement of $55 million under seizure by Devas shareholders is confirmation of what we have said from the beginning: Devas will be relentless in its efforts to enforce our lawful international arbitral awards in courts around the world.”

“We will not be intimidated by baseless allegations or the Government of India’s efforts to harass award holders through the use of government-controlled agencies,” McGill said.

In January, a Paris court allowed Devas shareholders to seize an apartment that houses the Indian Deputy Chief of Mission, valued at 3.8 million euros, for enforcement of the award.

The $55 million under seizure order is the result of enforcement proceedings undertaken in Canada targeting monies that flow through IATA from AAI and Air India. This includes the normal and orderly collection of overflight fees, landing fees and ticketing fees. The Tata Group took over Air India earlier this year.

In order to evade further seizure orders, AAI has taken unprecedented steps to withdraw from the international system for collection of overflight and landing fees through the IATA. This despite AAI’s formal assurances earlier this year to Canadian courts that the status quo would be maintained.

“Consequently, the Court of Appeal of Quebec has reinstated the multimillion seizure order pending the appeal process,” the statement added. MillenniumPost

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