A Canadian court has ordered the seizure of funds, over $300 million, which was collected by the IATA on behalf of Air India and the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The decision was based on a plea made by Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd. The company had filed several petitions to enforce arbitration awards against the Government of India. However, Air India, which had been now acquired by the Tata Group, is free of past legal claims.
In an official statement, Devas said the company’s shareholders have been granted the right to garnish property belonging to AAI held by IATA in Montreal. “Requires IATA to garnish, among other things, air navigation charges and aerodrome charges, held by IATA, either at its head office in Montreal, or at any of its branches world wide. These actions represent the first fruits of a globally focused effort to attach assets of the Indian Government to satisfy the Devas Multimedia’s awards.”
Matthew D McGill, partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and lead counsel for several Devas’ shareholders, as per ToI, said they will pursue the Indian government in courts worldwide to ensure that debts owed to Devas are satisfied.
“Our action in Canada has resulted in millions of dollars garnished by Devas shareholders and represents the first fruits of a globally-focused effort to be paid,” he said. “Debtors must pay what they owe and their income and assets will be garnished to pay those debts. We will continue to pursue Indian government’s assets to satisfy the awards, while remaining open to an amicable settlement.”
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It should be noted that on December 22, 2021, Air India had removed all its ticket inventory from the global distribution systems (GDS) as they are linked to IATA billing and settlement plan(BSP).
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