The court, however, stayed the operation of the order till January 28, allowing the low-cost carrier time to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.
“The company is examining the order and will take appropriate remedial steps as per legal advice received,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said.
The Zurich-based lender had approached the High Court in 2015 to receive payment assigned to it by Switzerland-based aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service provider SR Technics as receivables from SpiceJet.
A single bench had on December 6 allowed the winding up of SpiceJet under Section 433 (e) of the Companies Act 1956, and directed the official liquidator to take over the assets of the airline.
The Ajay Singh-promoted company challenged the order before a division bench.
The division bench of Justices Paresh Upadhyay and Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup, while upholding the single bench ruling, observed, “These appeals need to be dismissed. No interference is required in the impugned orders.”
The genesis of the dispute lies in a 10-year aircraft service and maintenance agreement between SR Technics and SpiceJet in November 2011. The Swiss firm had raised invoices and the airline had issued seven bills of exchange for the monies due under the invoices.
In September 2012, SR Technics entered into a financing agreement with Credit Suisse, under which it had assigned all its present and future rights to receive payments under the agreement to the lender.
Credit Suisse approached the court arguing that SpiceJet failed to pay the dues despite it making repeated requests.
The airline on its part argued that SR Technics did not have a valid licence to carry out aircraft maintenance services from the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as required under the Aircraft Act and, therefore, the enforcement of the claim would be against public policy.
The High Court reprimanded the company over its defence.
“The appellant (SpiceJet) claims to be one of the largest passenger carriers…(and) by its own stand, has carried hundreds of thousands of passengers for all these years without maintenance of its aircrafts and engines from any service provider with valid licence from DGCA,” the division bench observed in its 23-page order. “The admission of petition under Section 433 (f) of the Act may become more relevant in this background.”