Order to appoint Australian arbitrator in RIL case recalled by Supreme Court
After the government cited that the former Chief Justice and Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales was part of the initial list suggested by RIL, Justice S S Nijjar recalled its order appointing Australian judge James Jacob Spigelman as a foreign arbitrator to head a three-member arbitration panel in the Reliance Industries KG-D6 gas case against the government. The arbitration process was stuck over appointment of the third member in the three-member panel of arbitrators. RIL and the government had, respectively, nominated former chief justices S P Bharucha and V N Khare, but the two could not arrive at a consensus over the appointment of a third arbitrator.
Livelaw has reported, Justice SS Nijjar of Supreme Court appointed a former Chief Justice of New South Wales in Australia as the third and final Arbitrator for resolution of dispute as per the arbitration agreement between the two parties. The apex court allowed Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries plea which filed a petition under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration Act, 1996, with a prayer for appointment of the third and the presiding Arbitrator, as the two arbitrators nominated by the parties have failed to reach a consensus on the appointment of the third arbitrator. In international commercial arbitration, the Supreme Court is vested with the power to appoint the Arbitrator, if the parties fail to arrive at a consensus.