NEW DELHI: The central government told Delhi High Court on Thursday that it could not give sanction for the attachment of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation properties in lieu of dues remaining of the 2017 arbitral award to Reliance Infrastructure-promoted Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd (DAMEPL). Allowing such a step would bring the capital to a halt, it said.The Centre argued that giving such a sanction would cause significant inconvenience to the public and impact law and order in Delhi. The affidavit says that sanction couldn’t be according “since that would result in closure of DMRC and bring the city to a halt” and “the answering respondent, being the custodian of the public good, cannot permit such circumstances to ensue”.The court was hearing a petition filed by DAMEPL seeking enforcement of the arbitration award given on May 11, 2017. In 2008, DMRC had signed a contract with DAMEPL on the design, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the Airport Express Line of Delhi Metro.While Rs 1,678.4 crore of the arbitral award has been paid to DAMEPL, an amount of Rs. 6,330.9 crore remains outstanding.The affidavit to this effect was filed by the joint secretary of the Union housing and urban affairs ministry after the court directed the Union government last week to take a decision on whether it proposed to accord sanction under Section 89 of Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002, for attachment of DMRC’s movable and immovable assets.The single bench of Justice Yashwant Varma expressed displeasure at the stand of the Centre and Delhi government that they couldn’t be made liable to pay the Rs 6,300 crore awarded to DAMEPL. “It is amazing that there are two elected governments who have formed this corporation and this corporation has no money. Imagine what message you are conveying to the outside world… a government corporation refusing to deal with an award,” the bench said.The court directed DMRC officials to attend the proceedings on Friday so that a holistic view could be taken with respect to the funds available with the train company. It also asked the Centre to place on record the formal order deciding not to accord the sanction to attach DMRC’s properties.Earlier, DMRC had told the high court that it had requested the central government and Delhi government to provide interest-free subordinate debt of over Rs 7,000 crore for payment of its unpaid portion of the arbitral award to DAMEPL.