Australian Arbitrator appointed by Supreme Court for Reliance-Government dispute
Supreme Court has appointed former judge of the High Court of Australia, Michael Hudson McHugh, as the third Arbitrator to head the board of arbitrators to solve the KG Basin dispute and allowed RIL's plea for appointing an international Arbitrator so as to remove any bias.
The Court had earlier withdrawn its order appointing Australian judge James Spigelman as an Arbitrator between RIL and Centre after the latter pointed out that the appointee figured in the list supplied by Reliance hence someone else should be appointed.
Government of India and RIL are in a dispute over the recovery of cost for developing the country's key natural gas field in KG Basin. RIL had moved the SC seeking appointment of an arbitrator from a foreign country with which parties in disputes are not connected with.
.Besides Justice McHugh, the other two arbitrators are former Chief Justices of India V.N. Khare and S.P.Barucha. Justice Khare is for the central government aqd Justice Barucha is for RIL.
Justice Spigelman’s name had to be withdrawn, because Justice Nijjar in his March 31 order had said that the court was not appointing anyone who was in the list of names suggested by the RIL and the government.Court on April 2 recalled its March 31 order appointing Justice Spigelman after senior counsel Dushyant Dave brought to its notice the inadvertent error it has committed.