Appearing for Jalan-Kalrock, senior advocate Maninder Singh tried to convince a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra that the consortium would encash the two old bank guarantees worth Rs 150 crore and utilise the money to pay Rs 150 crore to SBI escrow account, while making good the two encashed bank guarantees through a single one.
This was opposed tooth and nail by additional solicitor general N Venkataraman and advocate Sanjay Kapur, who told the court that though the consortium had promised to pay over Rs 4,700 crore in five years, it was finding it difficult to arrange even Rs 150 crore. The bench said Jalan-Kalrock could not be given more time to pay and that consequences would follow.
The SC on Jan 18 had permitted Jalan-Kalrock to deposit Rs 150 crore by Jan 31 to keep the resolution plan afloat despite the lenders, an SBI-led banking consortium, accusing the foreign entity of lacking in intent to implement the airline revival plan.
Under the agreed reworked payment schedule for the first tranche of Rs 350 crore, the NCLAT had allowed Jalan-Kalrock to deposit Rs 100 crore by Aug 31, 2023, Rs 100 crore more by Sept 30 and adjustment of bank guarantee of Rs 150 crore with the balance amount.
The bench had said bank guarantee, which is a security against non-performance, could not have been permitted to be adjusted against payment of Rs 150 crore by the successful resolution applicant (SRA). It directed Jalan-Kalrock to make good the payment of Rs 150 crore into the SBI escrow account.
The banking consortium said the SC had categorically said in its order that failure to deposit Rs 150 crore by Jan 31 would entail consequences under the resolution plan. They told TOI that since deposit of Rs 150 crore was a condition precedent, which had not been fulfilled by the SRA, it would be open for the lenders to call off the resolution plan to go either for a fresh one or seek liquidation of Jet Airways. The hearing before the National Company Law Tribunal on Feb 7 will be crucial in determining whether the resolution plan survives or not.