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Go First resolution professional not providing access to aircraft records, lessors tell Delhi HC

NEW DELHI : Lessors of Go First have told the Delhi High Court that they have not received any records related to aircraft maintenance from the insolvent airline’s resolution professional since May, or been allowed to physically inspect its assets.

Resolution, or insolvency, professionals are hired by lenders to run insolvent firms. 

Go First’s RP is in contempt of court for not complying with its order from two months earlier, the lessors argued before a single-judge bench on Tuesday.

The court had on 12 October directed Go First’s RP to provide all maintenance and technical records and other key aircraft-related documents to the lessors within a week. 

The court did not issue a contempt notice on the RP, but instructed it to file an affidavit by 12 December stating whether it had followed its order or not. 

The court made it clear that if it found that the RP had not complied with its order, it would have to take action in the contempt proceedings.

The lessors made their arguments before the high court as part of a newly filed contempt petition by Go First lessor DAE (SY22) 13 Ireland Designated Activity. The lessor has alleged that the RP had willfully failed to comply with the court’s order by not providing the necessary maintenance and technical records.

The documents being sought include records on the removal of engine parts and airframe, storage, historical data, online records, and any information on the airworthiness of the aircraft. 

The high court had on 5 July allowed the RP to take responsibility for maintaining Go First’s aircraft, but allowed lessors the right to inspect–an order later upheld by a division bench of the high court as well as the Supreme Court. 

During the hearing on Tuesday, senior lawyer Kevic Setalvad, appearing on behalf of the lessor that filed the contempt case, stated that the court must take action against the RP for not maintaining the aircraft despite court orders.

According to the senior counsel, no maintenance had taken place since 19 May. The lessors have not received a list of records of parts removed from aircraft. The last records provided to them pertained to storage records from 4-19 May, Setalvad told the court. 

Additionally, historical and hardware records do not adhere to the guidelines and are not in proper condition, making comprehension difficult, he said. 

The lawyer further said the engines had been removed from the aircraft.

In response, senior lawyer Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing the resolution professional, informed that the RP could not immediately respond to the allegations. 

The court clarified to the RP that the aircraft must be maintained as per its order and deferred the hearing until 12 December. Meanwhile, the court will continue hearing the RP’s arguments in the ongoing aircraft registration case.

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Updated: 05 Dec 2023, 07:30 PM IST

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