THE Bombay High Court held that Sahara India Commercial Corporation could withdraw the money deposited by Jet Airways in court on furnishing a solvent security. Jet Airways had deposited Rs 137.5 crore with the court on March 30 instead of making payment of the third instalment due to Sahara India, for buying Air Sahara, now known as JetLite.
Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud said that if Sahara India failed to furnish the security within two weeks, the money would be invested by the court in a fixed deposit with a nationalised bank. Jet Airways and Sahara India have been at loggerheads over the past year on alleged undisclosed tax liabilities, which according to Jet Airways, accrued before the deal was finalised between the two parties. Jet Airways had moved an application last month seeking to deposit the instalment with the court instead of paying it to Sahara India. Jet counsel Janak Dwarkadas told the court that his client did not have any objection to the withdrawal of the money by Sahara India on condition that the latter would furnish a security. Jet had earlier said that the dispute over Rs 800 crore of tax owed by Sahara India before 2007, was yet to be resolved.
Sahara India counsel Pradeep Sancheti countered the submission saying Jet has not disputed its right to receive the instalment and so it should be allowed to withdraw the money without furnishing any security. If the court concluded that the tax liabilities are to be borne by Sahara India, the same can then be paid to Jet
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