Tribunal quashes Kingfisher's interim plea in debt case

Bengaluru: The Debt Recover Tribunal (DRT) on Friday quashed the interlocutory application of tycoon Vijay Mallya's defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd for modifying its reply to the original application and its counter-petition seeking Rs 3,000 crore from the 17 banks to which it owes about Rs.9,000 crore debt. "Tribunal's presiding officer Justice C.R. Benkanahalli dismissed Kingfisher's plea after the consortium of the banks challenged it saying the time limit to seek modification had lapsed," counsel for lead bank SBI told reporters later. Opposing the airline's interim plea on Tuesday, the consortium's counsel had said as the original application was filed on June 25, 2013, the airline had enough time to plead its case than seeking a modification when the hearing was at the final stage. Claiming that the consortium had violated the terms of the master debts recast agreement (MDRA), the airline counsel argued that it suffered losses after signing it (agreement) on October 21, 2010 as its banks failed lend more money in time. "The banks did not lend money to the airline in time as per the agreement, resulting in cash crunch and operational loss," he said. The tribunal has been hearing the debt recovery case on almost daily basis after the Supreme Court directed it in May to wind up the arguments in two months.