Plea in Delhi HC against allowing Go First lessors to inspect their aircraft first

High Court allowed aircraft lessors of cash-strapped Go First airline to inspect their aircraft at least twice a month and carry out maintenance.

Delhi High Court (Photo: IANS)
Delhi High Court (Photo: IANS)


After the Delhi High Court permitted aircraft lessors to conduct inspections and maintenance on aircraft leased to Go First Airlines, the airline's Resolution Professional (RP) has filed an appeal challenging the order.

Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi on Friday requested an urgent listing of the matter before a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula.

However, the court said that it will consider the case on Monday.

On Wednesday,  the High Court allowed aircraft lessors of cash-strapped Go First airline to inspect their aircraft at least twice a month and carry out maintenance.

The permission was granted by Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju, who was hearing a bunch of applications filed by the lessors in the main petitions seeking to de-register their aircraft currently on lease with Go First, to avoid any further losses.

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.

During the hearing, the judge had acknowledged how valuable and sophisticated equipment of the lessors’ aircraft are, and required maintenance for their preservation.

The airline, its representatives, and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)-appointed 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.

While asking the respondents in the case, DGCA and IRP, to file their responses to the petitions within three weeks’ time, Justice Ganju had also asked the aviation regulator to allow the lessors, their employees and agents to access the airport, where their aircraft are currently parked, and to inspect them within three days.

The low-cost airline first stopped flying on May 3 and is undergoing voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings before the NCLT.

On lessors’ petitions seeking deregistration of their aircraft, the DGCA had told the court that it was due to a technical glitch on its portal that the applications of several aircraft lessors were shown as "rejected".

The DGCA had said it was not processing such requests after a moratorium on financial obligations and transfer of assets of the crisis-hit airline post insolvency resolution proceedings.

“Why is there a distinction? There are seven-eight petitions and each one of them has a different response. Why so?” Justice Ganju had asked the aviation regulator's counsel Anjana Gosain as to why different responses were sent to different lessors on repossession requests.

Advocate Gosain had apprised the court that when lessors send deregistration requests to the regulator, it is done in five working days and that in this case, no application has been rejected.

"There was a glitch in the portal due to which it showed that the applications have been rejected," she had said. “They have made the applications on the portal on May 4. Unfortunately, a glitch came. When they opened on May 12, it showed them to be rejected,” she had further submitted.

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