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NCLT issues notice to SpiceJet over plea by IT vendor

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) issued a notice to the cash-strapped private airline SpiceJet on Thursday in an insolvency case initiated by Raymach Technologies Pvt Ltd, a business consultancy for the IT and aviation industries. Raymach Technologies claims it provided business-consulting and technical-support services worth 2.7 crore to the airline but hasn’t been paid. The court deferred the case to January after calling for a response from SpiceJet.

Bharat Arora, representing Raymach, said the company had consistently provided technical support staff to SpiceJet over the past four years. He said invoices were regularly sent to the airline for the services rendered, which SpiceJet had not disputed. However, when Raymach initiated proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), SpiceJet denied having availed of its services, he said. Arora presented various email exchanges between Raymach and SpiceJet, revealing that the airline had acknowledged the services provided.

The tribunal, however, asked Raymach’s counsel to remove from the petition invoices from the covid period, as no application to initiate insolvency proceedings could be admitted for a default that took place during the pandemic.

In 2020 the government added Section 10A to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which prevented the filing of insolvency applications for defaults that occurred after March 25 that year. This restriction was initially for just six months but it could be extended up to a year, as notified by the authorities.

SpiceJet is facing numerous legal challenges, with four of its aircraft lessors – Aircastle Ireland Ltd, Willis Lease Corporation, Wilmington and Celestial – having already filed cases with the NCLT to initiate insolvency proceedings due to payment defaults. In August, SpiceJet allotted over 48 million shares to nine aircraft lessors to clear outstanding dues amounting to 2.31 billion (about $28 million).

Media reports indicate that SpiceJet is seeking to raise about $100 million, with promoter Ajay Singh reportedly in talks with global credit funds.

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Updated: 30 Nov 2023, 04:30 PM IST

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