New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Resolution Professional (RP) of cash-strapped Go First to file an affidavit in response to a lessor's plea seeking contempt action.
The lessor alleges that the RP has not complied with the court's order to allow inspection and maintenance of the aircraft.
In October, the court had allowed aircraft lessors to engage security personnel around-the-clock for safeguarding their aircraft parked at rest for several months.
In an interim order on July 5, the court had permitted the lessors to inspect their aircraft at least twice a month and carry out maintenance.
Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju, who presided over the case, in October had asked Go First’s RP to share documents regarding the maintenance of aircraft, engines and airframes with its lessors.
Justice Ganju on Tuesday said that court orders must be followed in letter and spirit, warning that further orders might be necessary if compliance is not achieved.
The court expressed concern about the non-maintenance of aircraft, terming it as a problem affecting all parties involved.
The lessor, DAE (SY 22) 13 Ireland Designated Activity Company, filed a petition seeking contempt proceedings against the RP, claiming that the aircraft were not being properly maintained, required documents were not provided, and court-directed inspections were being denied.
Several other lessors also raised similar issues during the hearing.
Senior advocate Kevic Setalvad, representing the lessor in the contempt plea, argued that the RP, responsible for seizing the aircraft, was not adequately maintaining them, and necessary records were not being provided to the lessors.
In response, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing the RP, stated that an affidavit detailing their compliance and the challenges they faced would be submitted. He contended about issues related to manpower and finances, emphasising that the airline is currently grounded.
The court will hear the matter next on December 12. Earlier, the court had also ordered that the aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shall permit duly verified security personnel to monitor the aircraft.
On May 26, aircraft lessors - Pembroke Aircraft Leasing 11 Ltd, SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd, Accipiter Investments Aircraft 2 Ltd, and EOS Aviation 12 (Ireland) Ltd - had moved the high court seeking deregistration of their planes by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to take them back from the airline.
The airline, its representatives, and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)-appointed Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) were restricted by the court from removing, replacing or taking out any part or components, or records of the 30 aircraft without taking prior written approval from lessor of the particular aeroplane.
The low-cost airline first stopped flying on May 3 and is undergoing voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings before the NCLT.
The airline had approached the NCLT "due to the ever-increasing number of failing engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney's International Aero Engines, which has resulted in Go First (airline brand) having to ground 25 aircraft (equivalent to approximately 50 per cent of its Airbus A320neo aircraft fleet) as of May 1, 2023".