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Jet, Sahara fail to resolve dispute

June 30, 2009 19:23 IST
A meeting of the top officials of Sahara India and Jet Airways to resolve the dispute over the buyout of Sahara Airlines by the latter has not resulted in any settlement.

A Sahara spokesperson confirmed that the meeting between top managements of the two companies took place recently to resolve the issues related to the Jet buyout of Sahara but no settlement was arrived at.

Asked whether Jet officials had offered to pay Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) to settle the dispute, the Sahara spokesperson denied any such offer being made by Jet.

A Jet spokesperson meanwhile declined to comment. The two companies are fighting a case in the Bombay High Court on the issue and the next hearing is to be held on Thursday.

Sahara Commercial Corporation maintains that Naresh Goyal-led airline was liable to pay Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion) for the deal instead of the renegotiated amount of Rs 1,450 crore (Rs 14.50 billion) agreed between them.

Jet bought Sahara Airlines from Sahara Group in April 2007 for Rs 1,450 crore after an arbitration award. It paid Rs 900 crore (Rs 9 billion) and agreed to pay the balance in four installments.

In March 2008, the income tax department demanded tax dues of Rs 107 crore (Rs 1.07 billion) from Sahara Airlines (now called JetLite).

According to Jet, this amount was due from Sahara Group as it pertained to the period before the acquisition.

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