The Supreme Court has again ruled in favor of Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) whereby it has upheld the 2017 arbitral award of Rs 4,600 crore payable by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to DAMEPL.
Key points to note –
- DAMEPL is a consortium between Reliance Infrastructure Limited and Construcciones y Auxillar de Ferrocarriles, S.A.
- DMRC, is a joint venture of Government of India and Government of Delhi.
- DMRC had entered into a Concession Agreement with DAMEPL whereby the latter was entrusted with designing, installation, maintenance, and operation of a portion of the Airport Metro Express Line project in New Delhi (AEML). DMRC had undertaken to design and construct civil structure of the project.
- Dispute related to some alleged lapses (defects) by DMRC that were highlighted by DAMEPL.
- As both parties couldn’t reach any conclusion, DAMEPL had stopped all work and issued a notice to DMRC terminating the Concession Agreement. DMRC thereafter had invoked arbitration under the Concession Agreement.
Since the very beginning, DAMEPL has been winning the case against DMRC (arbitration, High Court, Supreme Court) and the current win is a further important step in the process.
The current Supreme Court order is by a 2 bench judge and hence seems to be nearing conclusion as it’s from the top Court and by a multiple judge bench.
Infrastructure development disputes are nothing new to India and we as a country really need to minimise these kind of instances and also speed up the legal resolution process. This is important to ensure a long term sustainable infrastructure development and hence economic growth in the country.