SC says foreign award in favour of Vedanta, not in conflict with public policy

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New Delhi, Sep 16 | In a major setback to the Centre, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said the requirement of procedural fairness constitutes a fundamental basis for the integrity of the arbitral process, as it upheld a foreign arbitration award in favour of Vedanta and Videocon.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had appealed against this foreign award allowing Vedanta and Videocon to recover $499 million, instead of $198 million capped by the government for the development of the Ravva oil and gas fields off Andhra Pradesh coast between 2000 and 2007.

A bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer, Indu Malhotra and Aniruddha Bose said the government has contended the award may not be enforced, since it is contrary to the basic notions of justice, and the court is unable to accept this submission.

“The Appellants (government and ministry of petroleum and natural gas) have not made out a case of violation of procedural due process in the conduct of the arbitral proceedings”.

The bench noted that fair and equal treatment of the parties is a non-derogable and mandatory provision, on which the entire edifice of the alternate dispute resolution mechanism is based.

The top court said the Malaysian court had rightly examined the issue.

The government had argued that under the Indian law, a foreign arbitration award can be challenged if it was against public policy.

The bench observed the government has not made out a case, how is the award in conflict with the basic notions of justice, or in violation of the substantive public policy of India.

“We feel that the interpretation taken by the tribunal is a plausible view, and the challenge on this ground cannot be sustained, to refuse enforcement of the Award,” said the bench.

The government had argued that the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) are “special contracts” pertaining to the exploration of natural resources, which concerns the public policy of India.

The bench said “we are of the view that the disputes raised by the claimants (Vedanta and Videocon) emanate from the rights and obligations of the parties under the PSC. The award is not contrary to the fundamental policy of Indian law, or in conflict with the notions of justice.”

The apex court concluded that the enforcement of the foreign award does not contravene the public policy of India, nor is it contrary to the basic notions of justice. The Delhi High Court had declined to interfere with the arbitral award in favour of Vedanta.

In June, the Centre challenged this decision in the Supreme Court. The apex court affirmed the judgment of the Delhi High Court dated February 19, 2020, and vacated the status quo orders of June 17 and July 22.

“The award dated January 18, 2011 passed by the tribunal is held to be enforceable in accordance with the provisions of Sections 47 and 49 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996,” said the top court.

Cairn India (now Vedanta) and Videocon were allowed to recover $198 million as per the contract, and in July 2014, the Malaysian Court of Appeals upheld the arbitral award allowing additional recoveries to Vedanta.

Source: IANS

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Policybazaar Unveils its new brand campaign "AapKiSideHai"

Policybazaar Unveils its new brand campaign

Akshay Kumar delivers the brand’s promise of always being on the customer’s side

Gurugram, 19th Sept, 2020: Policybazaar.com (Twitter handle: PolicyBazaar), India’s largest online insurance marketplace with over 10 million customers, showcases its commitment to customers in its new television campaign “AapKiSideHai”. The new ad campaign featuring Policybazaar brand ambassador, Akshay Kumar, highlights the brand’s promise of embracing a holistic customer centric approach while helping to bridge the insurance protection gap in India.

Policybazaar’sAapKiSideHai campaign seeks to reassure its customers on being a dependable Insurance partner for them, every step of the way. The brand has always focused on distributing products like term insurance, health insurance, zero commission ULIP’s and motor insurance that are optimal from a customer perspective. Policybazaar is now extending the brand promise beyond the purchase experience to ensure that consumers get the highest levels of service throughout the policy lifecycle.

The new brand campaign reinforces Policybazaar core value of putting the customer first by delivering on its promise of providing a trusted platform for all types of insurance products. The brand is committed to guiding the customer throughout the insurance journey, starting from recommending the right products at affordable pricing, ensuring thatthe policy issuance process is smooth and fast, and, to providing services and claims assistance when needed.

“While we continue to highlight the importance of Health & Term life Insurance through our marketing campaigns, with the brand promise of Policybazaar AapKiSideHai, we also intend to position Policybazaar as a customer centric brand, that is committed to stand by its customers, both pre and post purchase”, said Samir Sethi, Head of Brand Marketing, Policybazaar.com. The new ad series highlights Policybazaar’s unparalleled support to customers, while providing them with the ease of comparing and buying term and health plans online with guidance at each & every step.

Speaking about the TVC launch, Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer, Policybazaar.com said, “Our ultimate aim is to provide 360-degree assistance to customers that starts from when the policy is bought, to provide assistance when the claim is paid out, should such a situation arise. Winning and maintaining customer trust is a strong ethos within the company and this campaign reflects that. At a time when the world is grappling with a crisis like no other, the brand intends to instill confidence in the customers’ buying decisions by assuring them protection of their futures with the right insurance products & thorough assistance throughout the journey.”

The new brand campaign in its series displays moments of indecision that people may have while investing in protection products. It addresses these queries &emphasizes the importance of nurturing a bond with the consumers thereby creating customer delight.

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