Kingfisher Airlines claims high court stay on wilful defaulter tag

Kingfisher Airlines claims high court stay on wilful defaulter tag

Beleagured carrier Kingfisher Airlines Saturday claimed it has secured a stay from the Calcutta High Court against the United Bank of India order declaring the airline and its directors including holders UB group chief Vijay Mallya as wilful defaulters.

The airlines said following a writ petition moved by it, Justice Debangshu Basak Friday passed an order holding that the bank prima facie "acted in breach of the principles of natural justice".

"His Lordship was pleased to grant a stay on the decision of the Grievance Redressal Committee constituted by United Bank of India declaring the petitioners wilful defaulters till Nov 24," the airlines said in a statement.

The bank has been directed to file its affidavit-in-opposition by Nov 3, while the petitioners would have to file their reply one week thereafter. The next date of hearing has been fixed for Nov 10.

Commenting on the stay granted by the court, airline vice president, corporate communications, Prakash Mirpuri said: "We had earlier stated that we would legally challenge the wrongful decision of United Bank of India and that we have great faith in the judiciary in our country. We will legally defend our position on all allegations going forward."

The airlines had in the petition challenged the constitutional validity of the RBI Master Circular on wilful defaulters besides challenging the ex-parte decision of the Grievance Redressal Committee constituted by United Bank of India declaring the petitioners wilful defaulters.

The UBI had become the first lender to dub the debt-stressed airlines' promoter Mallya and three directors Ravi Nedungadi, Anil Kumar Ganguly and Subash Gupte as wilful defaulters.

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