Quebec court reserves order on AAI/AI plea

The Quebec Superior Court has reserved orders on a plea by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Air India (AI) to quash a the court’s order allowing Devas shareholders’ seizure of $30 million worth of their assets in the country.

Earlier this week, Devas shareholders said they had been granted permission by a Quebec court to garnish property belonging to AAI and AI held by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Montreal. This included $17.3 million in ticketing revenue of AI and $12.76 million of air navigation and aerodrome charges international airlines owe to AAI.

After the intervention of Air India’s counsel in Canada, the Quebec Superior Court heard the applications to quash and stay the garnishing order on January 4 and January 5. The court has reserved its decision, which is likely by the end of this week, multiple sources said.

During the hearings, AAI argued that overflight fees are not commercial revenues and should be immune from execution. AAI also argued that Devas’s case should be suspended until India is served notice since it is a necessary party. Devas argued that India is well aware of the action and its absence at the hearing was purposeful and strategic, it is reliably learnt.

“Until the Modi government returns to the negotiating table, we have no alternative but to enforce against India’s assets, and we are very grateful for the very prompt and close attention the Montreal court is devoting to our case. This is just the beginning of our global enforcement campaign and it will continue until India fulfills its obligations. The disruption India now is suffering—and will continue to experience—is regrettable but it is solely the fault of the Modi government and its brazen defiance of India’s international treaty obligation to accord fair and equitable treatment to its foreign investors,” a Devas spokesperson said in a statement.

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