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Devas Shareholders Seize $55 Million from Indian Government

Indian Government’s Scramble to Evade Payment Failing as Enforcement Actions Continue

The following is a statement from Matthew D. McGill, Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Lead Counsel to Devas Shareholders, following the disclosure in Canadian court proceedings that Devas shareholders have $55 million of monies held by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) that belong to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Air India (AI) under a seizure order.

“The announcement of $55 million under seizure by Devas shareholders is confirmation of what we have said from the beginning: Devas will be relentless in its efforts to enforce our lawful international arbitral awards in courts around the world. We will not be intimidated by baseless allegations or the Government of India’s efforts to harass award holders through the use of government-controlled agencies.”

You can read more on the seizure here and below.


The $55 million under seizure order is the result of enforcement proceedings undertaken in Canada targeting monies that flow through IATA from AAI and AI. This includes the normal and orderly collection of overflight fees, landing fees and ticketing fees.

In order to evade further seizure orders, AAI has taken unprecedented steps to withdraw from the international system for collection of overflight and landing fees through the IATA. This withdrawal furthers AAI efforts to evade enforcement of the arbitration award against India held by Devas shareholders. The action was taken despite AAI’s formal assurances earlier this year to Canadian courts that the status quo would be maintained. Consequently, the Court of Appeal of Quebec has reinstated the multimillion seizure order pending the appeal process.

The Canadian court has previously called the Government of India’s actions as “mind-boggling” and described the excuses for refusing to pay Devas shareholders as “way beyond a legitimate contestation of the validity” of the arbitration awards.

Read the full Canadian Court Declarations here.