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Explained: What will Anil Ambani do now? Neither Maya nor Ram found in Delhi Metro case

The Supreme Court recently gave a big relief to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The country’s top court exempted Delhi Metro from paying Rs 8,000 crore to Anil Ambani’s company Reliance Infrastructure, and also asked Anil Ambani to return the payment of about Rs 2500 crore already made. After all, what happened to Anil Ambani in this whole case and what will he do now? Let us understand…

The net worth of Anil Ambani, younger brother of the country’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has already become zero. Now recently he has got another blow from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has given relief to Delhi Metro from paying Rs 8,000 crore in a case related to Delhi Airport Metro Rail Line. Not only this, Delhi Metro has also been asked to return the Rs 2500 crore that it has given to Anil Ambani’s company. In such a situation, Anil Ambani’s situation has become ‘neither Maya nor Ram’.

Actually, the Airport Express Line of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was developed by Anil Ambani’s company Reliance Infrastructure (R.Infra). For this, a new company Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) was floated. In a dispute related to this, both the parties had reached the arbitration court.

The decision in arbitration came in favor of Reliance Infra. Delhi Metro appealed against this in the Delhi High Court and got relief from there. Then the matter reached the Supreme Court, where the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Reliance Infra in 2021 and asked Delhi Metro to accept the arbitration decision. DMRC was ordered to repay Rs 2,782.83 crore with interest, the total amount of which has now reached Rs 8,000 crore. Now the Supreme Court has changed its decision.

Anil Ambani ‘neither Maya nor Ram’

Now Anil Ambani’s position in this matter is that he does not want to get any new money from Delhi Metro, rather he has to return Rs 2500 crore which has reached him. Not only this, now it does not even have the license to operate the Delhi Metro Airport Express Line, hence it has no option of earning money from Delhi Metro in future.

What happened between Delhi Metro and Anil Ambani?

Now if you turn the pages of the newspaper 17 years ago, then you will understand the entire case of Anil Ambani and Delhi Metro. In 2010, preparations for the Commonwealth Games were in full swing in Delhi and at the same time, Delhi Metro proposed to build an Airport Express Line to reach Delhi Airport from New Delhi Railway Station in just 20 minutes.

In the year 2007, Anil Ambani’s company Reliance Infra emerged as the biggest bidder for this. The deal between the two was the country’s first metro public private partnership. At that time the estimated cost of the Delhi Airport Express Line project was estimated at Rs 4,660 crore. Reliance Infra not only had to develop this project, but it was also given the license to operate it till 2038.

Reliance spent about Rs 2800 crore in this project, while half the construction cost was borne by DMRC itself. The work from tunneling to construction was done by Delhi Metro itself. Whereas Anil Ambani’s DAMEPL was given the work of designing, supplying, testing and starting electricity and overhead systems, tracks, platforms, screen doors etc.

Although this project was to be completed before the Commonwealth Games-2010, but by the time it was completed it was 2011 and work on this metro line could start with a lot of delay.

Anil Ambani withdrew his hands in 2012

Shortly after the operation of Delhi Airport Express started, many technical flaws started coming to light in the project. Especially in the elevated section of the metro line in which 25 meter gridders were used. Cracks started appearing in them and defects were found in the iron beams supporting the track, pillars and 540 bearings. The problem of seepage was also seen in the tunnel.

After this, DAMEPL, formed for its operation, suspended the service on this line in 2012 itself. A notice was sent to DMRC asking them to remove these flaws, but it took about 5 months to fix this problem. Regarding this dispute, DMRC used the arbitration clause of the deal in October 2012.

Meanwhile, operation on the metro line started again in 2013, but Reliance Infra withdrew its hands. He operated it as an agent for some time and in June 2013, he completely left it. This was the same time when Anil Ambani’s problems started and the debt on his other companies started increasing. He was struggling with cash crunch.

After Anil Ambani left the Delhi Airport Metro line midway, Delhi Metro started running this line itself. Initially, DMRC started service on the metro line at a speed of 50 km, which is now 120 km per hour.


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