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Cairn energy has reportedly secured a French Court’s order to seize 20 properties of Indian Government to partially recover a $1.7 billion arbitration award. The Finance Ministry has clarified that it has not received any notice, order or communication from any French Court. Our partner – Ms. Mani Gupta – spoke to The New Indian Express regarding this development and the Indian government’s options from here…

Welcome back to our updates from the world of arbitration! 

The Ministry of Finance issued a press release strongly condemning the false reporting on the Cairn Energy PLC dispute and particularly reports which stated that banks have been advised to withdraw funds from foreign currency accounts. The ministry has clarified that the Government of India has already filed the application to set aside the international arbitral award in The Hague Court of Appeal.

According to a 2020 Survey by Queen Mary University, London in partnership with law firm White & Case, International Chambers of Commerce has emerged as one of the most preferred arbitration providers globally.

The Indian Government has challenged the arbitral award given in respect of a cost dispute in the western offshore Panna-Mukta and Taoil and gas fields of Shell and Reliance Industries Ltd. before the UK High Court.

The SIAC tribunal will commence hearing of the Amazon – Future case in July, 2021.

The Jurisdiction Taskforce of Lawtech UK has published Digital Dispute Resolution Rules, which can be incorporated into digital technologies like blockchain and smart contracts. The enforcement of an award rendered pursuant to these rules would be an issue to be looked at in accordance with the local law of the country where the award is sought to be enforced.

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From the docket

In UP Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. vs. CG Power And Industrial Solutions, the Supreme Court has clarified that a purely supply contract , is statutorily exempt from levy under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1996. The Supreme Court clarified that “the Cess under the Cess Act read with BOCW Act is leviable in respect of building and other construction works. The condition precedent for imposition of cess under the Cess Act is the construction, repair, demolition or maintenance of and/or in relation to a building or any other work of construction, transmission towers, in relation inter alia to generation, transmission and distribution of power, electric lines, pipelines etc.”  The Supreme Court has also clarified that the existence of an alternative remedy (such as an arbitration clause) will not bar the writ remedy available to parties, especially in cases where (i) where the writ petition seeks enforcement of a fundamental right; (ii) where there is failure of principles of natural justice or (iii) where the impugned orders or proceedings are wholly without jurisdiction or (iv) the vires of an Act is under challenge.

In M P Power Trading vs. Narmada Equipments, the Supreme Court has held that Section 86(1)(f)of the Electricity Act, 2003 will supersede the general provisions as enshrined under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Examining the entire scheme of section 86(1)(f) of the Electricity Act, 2003, the Court held that “the word  “and” mentioned between “generating companies” and “to refer any dispute for arbitration” in the section should be read as an “or”, since the State Electricity Commission cannot resolve the dispute itself and also refer the same to arbitration.

In NHAI vs. C.P. Rama Rao, the Delhi High Court upheld the view taken by the arbitrator that the introduction of Goods and Service Tax,  will be considered as change in law. The Court further reiterated that if a view taken by an arbitrator is a plausible view, the court cannot substitute the finding merely on the grounds that other views are possible. The interpretation of the contract falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal.

In Raghuvir Buildcon vs. IRCON International, after the appointment of the sole arbitrator by the Delhi HC, IRCON terminated the underlying contract. Raghuvir Buildcon included claims arising out of such termination in the proceedings before the sole arbitrator, which was objected to on the grounds of jurisdiction. The arbitrator held that claims arising solely out of the termination, could not have been referred to him for adjudication in the present proceedings. The Delhi HC has upheld the said view.

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