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Canadian court orders seizure of Air India & AAI payment with IATA on Devas Multimedia plea

Canadian court orders seizure of Air India & AAI payment with IATA on Devas Multimedia plea

NEW DELHI: A Canadian court has directed seizure of amounts collected by Montreal-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) on behalf of Air India (AI) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), based on a plea by Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd. A Devas spokesperson says over $30 million have so far been seized under the IATA action. The company has filed several petitions to enforce arbitration awards against the government of India. Comments have been sought from both AI and AAI and are awaited. The Tata Group shareholder agreement with the government for acquiring AI grants it indemnity from past legal claims against the latter. Devas Multimedia says it was awarded $1.2 billion compensation by a US court in a 2005 satellite deal case after it won almost a decade-old legal battle against the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro’s) commercial arm Antrix Corporation. “Devas’ shareholders have been granted the right to garnish property belonging to AAI held by IATA in Montreal…. requires IATA to garnish, among other things, air navigation charges and aerodrome charges, held by IATA, either at its head office in Montreal, or at any of its branches worldwide. These actions represent the first fruits of a globally focused effort to attach assets of the Indian government to satisfy the Devas Multimedia’s awards,” Devas said in a statement. Matthew D McGill, partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and lead counsel for several Devas’ shareholders, said: “We will pursue the Indian government in courts worldwide to ensure the debts owed to Devas are satisfied. Our action in Canada has resulted in millions of dollars garnished by Devas shareholders, and represents the first fruits of a globally-focused effort to be paid…. debtors must pay what they owe – and their income and assets will be garnished to pay those debts… we will continue to pursue Indian government’s assets to satisfy the awards, while remaining open to an amicable settlement.” Following the Canadian court order, AI had on December 22, 2021, removed all its ticket inventory from global distribution systems (GDS) as they are linked to IATA “billing and settlement plan” (BSP). This affected AI ticket sales in the peak travel period. .

business 2022-01-03 TOI