Air India wins appealing Nod against seizure of its assets by foreign investors of startup firm Devas Multimedia, who were citing the January 8, order of the Superior Court of Canada. The Devas Multimedia firm includes three foreign investors- CC/Devas Mauritius, Devas Employees Mauritius Pvt Ltd, and Telcom Devas Mauritius.
On January 13, Devas Multimedia’s three investors legal representative Mathew D Mcgill cited the order of Canada court to judges of US federal Court, on which US federal court for the southern district of New York agreed to investors to seek the seizure of Air India assets in the US.
The three Devas Multimedia’s Mauritius based investors are attempting to recover their awarded compensation of $ 111 million to them, by an international Tribunal over a failed and canceled satellite deal between Devas Multimedia and Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) commercial body Antrix Corporation that was done by the Indian Government in 2011.
Now in the recent February 11 ruling, federal court judge Christine Baudouin agreed on the appeal of Air India against Canada court order, asking the court to take a closer look at the claims brought by three Mauritius based investors and German Telekom and to identify the airline as an alternative to Government of India for recovering compensations as facilitated and awarded by International Tribunals over failed Satellite deal.
Writing in a brief order Judge Baudouin says “Without expressing an opinion on the merits or on the chances of success in the appeal, I am satisfied that the present matter is one that should be submitted to the court”
In the early February month, a US federal court In New York’s southern district stayed proceedings on identifying Air India as a nation alter Ego and in finding assets of Air India in the US to facilitate compensation recovery awarded by international tribunals.
On the other hand, Mauritius-based investors- CC/Devas (Mauritius) Ltd, Telecom Devas Mauritius Ltd, and Devas Employees Mauritius Pvt Ltd are targeting government assets abroad to recover their claimed USD 1.3 billion compensation that they won in the previous three arbitrations in order to deliver communication services in India.
Having received an attachment order from a French court to get Indian governments properties in the upmarket of Paris. On January 8, 2022, the investors got the nod from the Superior Court of Canada to seize Air India’s 50 percent funds that are held by the International Air Transport authority which is a Montreal based trade association for the world’s airlines that facilitates air navigation charged payments which are billed to airlines and countries.
Air India on the other hand termed the investor’s claim on its assets in the US as illegal, saying that Air India is no longer a state-owned firm after the Tata Group’s takeover of Air India on January 27, 2022.
Deutsche Telekom has filed a petition in the US District of Columbia court against the Government of India, seeking compensation of USD 135 million that also includes interests that were awarded to Deutsche by a permanent court of Arbitration in Geneva in 2020 over the Devas-Antrix satellite deal in 2011.
The Mauritius-based investors had a 37 percent stake in Devas Multimedia while Deutsche Telekom had 20 percent when the Devas-Antrix deal took place with the Government of India.
With the recent hold on the seizure of Air India assets, the company can look after more alternatives to deal with Devas Lawsuit at present in order to avoid the seizure of its assets while Devas Multimedia investors are looking to carry this case further to get compensation recovery in their favor.