Lessors should move division bench of High Court: Go First RP – today news

  • September 19, 2023

New Delhi: In a reply before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, the Resolution Professional (RP) for grounded airline Go First stated that the airline’s aircraft lessors, BOC Aviation (Ireland) Ltd, ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland, and DAE 13 Ireland Designated Activity Co, should approach the division bench of the court for directives on aircraft maintenance.

The RP argued that the single bench should not pass any directives because, according to the “doctrine of merger,” the single bench’s 5 July order has already merged with the 12 July division bench order of the High Court, which upheld and modified it.

Both orders have been upheld by the Supreme Court, and the plea for modification has reached its finality. Therefore, only a higher authority, like the division bench, can address the plea’s maintainability.

The court will hear the case next on 22 September.

The three lessors had moved the plea before the single bench and sought additional directions on the maintenance of their assets, after discovering that their parked aircraft were in poor condition during inspections.

In the previous case proceeding, BOC Aviation informed the court about the deplorable conditions of their planes, including issues with landing gear and the main body. Accumulated water from unexpected rains had led to algae growth, and they found scratches on the panels, indicating subpar maintenance. BOC’s aircraft had been in long-term storage in Coonoor, with engines removed since December 2022, worsening their condition.

Meanwhile, DAE 13 Ireland Designated Activity Co, in its plea, accused Go First of not paying staff salaries in August, resulting in poor plane conditions, including a dirty fuselage and corrosion in various parts like brakes. They also claimed Go First withheld essential aircraft documents, hindering airworthiness inspections.

The third lessor, ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland, raised concerns about missing key components in leased planes, such as fan blades, and urged Go First to replace them promptly.

In an interim order passed in July, a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court had permitted the lessors to inspect the grounded planes. The order was later upheld by a division bench of the High Court and subsequently by the Supreme Court.

Go First has filed for insolvency due to financial difficulties linked to Pratt and Whitney’s faulty engines. The National Company Law Tribunal had accepted its plea on 10 May leading to the suspension of the airline’s board and the imposition of a moratorium on its financial obligations.


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Updated: 19 Sep 2023, 07:58 PM IST

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