x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Emaar is set to appeal Delhi court order

An Indian court has effectively rejected its plea to stop the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) from cashing in the remainder of a 1.83 billion rupee (Dh148.9 million) bank guarantee.

MUMBAI // Emaar-MGF plans to appeal against an Indian court order this week that effectively rejected its plea to stop the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) from cashing in the remainder of a 1.83 billion rupee (Dh148.9 million) bank guarantee.

"We will go for an appeal against this order," said Anupama Chopra, a spokeswoman in New Delhi for Emaar-MGF. She declined to comment further. Emaar-MGF, a joint venture between Emaar Properties of Dubai and MGF Development of India, paid the deposit after it won a contract in 2007 to build the Commonwealth Games village in New Delhi. But it has faced criticism from Indian authorities for alleged deficiencies in construction and missed completion deadlines.

In October, soon after the games were over, the DDA said it planned to seize at least a portion of the bank guarantee as damages. The developers went to court, arguing that they had met all deadlines and rectified construction defects that were pointed out to them.

But on Monday, the high court in Delhi ruled that the DDA could penalise Emaar-MGF on the grounds stated. "There is no merit in the case and I dismiss the [developers'] petition with no cost," said Justice Vipin Sandhu.

He did, however, order a freeze on the encashment of the guarantee until today, offering Emaar-MGF some room to appeal against the decision before a larger bench of judges in the same court.

A senior official from the office of Tejendra Khanna, Delhi's lieutenant governor and the chairman of the DDA, said the court's decision had vindicated its stance against the developers. On October 25, the high court allowed DDA to encash 900m rupees.

On Monday, dismissing Emaar-MGF's plea, it granted DDA permission to claim the remaining 930m rupees.

Some athletes and team officials staying at the village complained ofconditions in some of the 1,168 flats, as well as faulty plumbing and substandard waterproofing.

But the developers insisted the village, which was home to sportsmen and women from 71 countries, received "rave reviews" from most participants and said the reported criticism of the village stemmed from poor maintenance and cleanliness - for which the games organising committee had responsibility.

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