Order on appointment of arbitrator in KG basin dispute reserved by Supreme Court

Order on appointment of arbitrator in KG basin dispute reserved by Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice SS Nijjar has reserved his order on the issue of appointing national or international arbitrator for adjudication of dispute between Reliance Industries Ltd and the Government of India over recovery of cost for developing the country's key natural gas field in KG basin.

The apex court has asked Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and the Centre to suggest names of persons, both Indian and foreign nationals, who could be considered for the appointment by 13th January. The issue whether an Indian or a foreign national is to be appointed as presiding arbitrator will be decided by the judge who will then consider the names proposed by the rival parties.

After the Centre had refused the proposal of Reliance Industries, the latter had moved the apex court for appointment of an arbitrator from a foreign country with which parties in disputes are not connected. Former CJI SP Bharucha has been nominated by Reliance Industries as its arbitrator while the Centre chose ex-CJI VN Khare as its nominee. On 23 November 2011, the Reliance Industries initiated arbitration against the government.