Delhi HC issues notice to Afghanistan Embassy over petition seeking attachment of movable, immovable assets

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], August 24 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on a petition filed by a construction contractor seeking the attachment of movable and immovable assets in view of the collapse and rapid takeover of the country by Taliban.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued notice to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and listed the matter for further hearing on September 13.

Delhi-based construction company KLA Const Technologies Private Limited filed an application seeking attachment of movable and immovable assets of the judgment debtor to satisfy the award and submitted that in view of the collapse of Afghanistan and rapid takeover of the country by Taliban, execution of the award in question has come under a cloud.

The council said that the present application has been filed seeking attachment of accounts of judgment debtors.

Counsel for decree-holder KLA Const Technologies Private Limited has informed that as of date, the amount of Rupees One crore and Eighty Lakhs (including interest) is due towards the award and against the judgment debtor.

Advocate Raguvendra Bajaj, appearing on behalf of the judgment debtor, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, submitted that the Special Leave Petition against the judgment on June 18 passed by this Court, came up for hearing before the Supreme Court on August 19 and in view of the fact that judgment debtor has no instructions, the same has been deferred for six weeks.

Counsel Bajaj submitted that the judgment debtor has no instructions in the present case and prayed for two weeks' time to obtain instructions.

Counsel for construction company said that in the present scenario prevalent in Afghanistan, decree-holder may not be able to recover the awarded amount and, therefore, the bank accounts of judgment debtor be attached so that funds can be utilized for recovery in present proceedings

"Pertinently, vide judgment dated 18.06.2021, the award dated 26.11.2018 was held to be maintainable and respondent was granted four weeks' time to deposit the arbitral award. Further, a direction was also given to the respondent to file an affidavit of assets on the date of the cause of action, date of the award as well as on the date of passing of the judgment in Form 16A Appendix E under Order XXI Rule 41(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure within 30 days. None of the directions have been complied with," the court noted.

It also noted the Special Leave Petition challenging the judgment on June 18 is pending consideration before the Supreme Court.

"Keeping in mind that the arbitral award pertains to the year 2018 and despite directions of this Court vide judgment on June 18, counsel is unable to disclose assets of the judgment debtor and pleads no instructions, coupled with the fact that the prevailing political situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is not clear, this Court is left with no option but to take on record the details of assets of judgment debtors so furnished on behalf of decree-holder in the present application," the court said.

Being conscious of the fact that Special Leave Petition against the judgment dated 18.06.2021 is pending consideration before the Supreme Court, to safeguard the interest of decree-holder, the Court directed Kotak Mahindra Bank, to ensure that the total minimum balance amount in three accounts of judgment debtors, shall not be less than Rupees One crore and Eighty Lacs. However, the judgment debtor is at liberty to approach this Court in case of exigency, if any so arises before the next date of hearing, the court said. (ANI)

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