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Seizure of funds from three major Air Authorities allowed by Canadian Court

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Airport Law Insider

Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: January 07, 2022 at 15:09 IST

Montreal District Court in Canada granted permission to seize funds of the Airport Authority of India (AAI), Air India and International Air Transport Association (IATA) that these three had deposited to three Mauritius based investors of Devas Multimedia Private Limited.

Devas Multimedia Private Limited had earlier not been able to fulfill its satellite deal with Indian Space Research Organization’s commercial department called Antrix Limited and had claimed 30 million dollars that were held by IATA on Airport Authority of India’s behalf which have now been seized on orders of Montreal District Court.

According to a report, “The three investors—Devas (Mauritius) Ltd, Telcom Devas Mauritius Ltd and Devas Employees Mauritius Pvt. Ltd—have won International Arbitration awards in their dispute with Antrix Ltd and the Indian Government. AAI and Air India are being targeted because they are Indian public sector entities with overseas assets and serve as a proxy for the Government of India.”

A spokesperson of Airport Authority of India stated, “The Authority has not been served any Order by the Quebec Court, Canada, in the matter. However, IATA shared certain documents on AAI’s for suspending the transfer of the amount collected on behalf of AAI.”

The dispute between the aforementioned parties started in 2011 when the commercial department of Antrix Limited of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had annulled the agreement with the Devas Multimedia while citing Force Majeure (unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract).