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Big win for Vedanta as Supreme Court says Malaysian arbitral ruling will not go against public policy in India- Read Judgment

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today held that enforcing the Malaysian arbitral award in favour of the Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta on the Ravva oil and gas fields, located in the shallow offshore area of the Krishna-Godavari basin on the eastern coast of India, will not go against public policy in India. In doing this the court has upheld the Delhi High Court’s order which had refused to interfere in the arbitral award and has also dealt a blow to the government’s contention. 

The top court rejected the Central government’s petition challenging the enforcement of the 2011 Malaysian arbitral award passed in favour of Vedanta in relation to the gas fields. The top court observed that the Malaysian court rightly examined the Ravva oil field arbitration award and it doesn’t offend public policy of India as it is a subsequent event.

An ONGC offshore field

The court dismissed the plea filed by the Central government through the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas regarding enforcement of the arbitral award. The question to be considered by the Court was whether the arbitral award based on Malaysian laws would be applicable as according to its contract the transactions were to be governed by Indian laws. 

“We conclude that the enforcement of the foreign award does not contravene the public policy of India, or that it is contrary to the basic notions of justice. We affirm the judgment of the Delhi High Court dated 19.02.2020 passed in I.A. No. 3558 / 2015 rejecting the Application filed under Section 48 of the 1996 Act, and confirm the order of enforcement passed on the petition under Sections 47 read with 49 for enforcement of the award, even though for different reasons,”

held by the bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer, Indu Malhotra & Aniruddha Bose.

A foreign award was passed by a Tribunal in Malaysia dispute between between Cairn India (Vedanta was formerly known as Cairn India) and the Indian government pertaining to a production sharing contract (PSC) between them for exploration of the Ravva oil fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin between 2000 and 2007.

Read Also: Babri Masjid demolition case verdict on September 30

The Delhi High Court had through its order allowed Vedanta to implement the foreign award of 2011. This order was challenged before the apex court as now the Company can seek a larger sum of recovery amount ($499 million) instead of the amount that was capped by the Indian government ($198 million).

Read Judgment here;

11594-2020-38-1501-24007-Judgement-16-Sep-2020

– India Legal Bureau

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