12 Dec 2022 1:28 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Monday orally observed that India cannot aspire to be an international arbitration hub if there is no enforcement of arbitration awards.A bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath made this observation while considering a petition filed by Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) in relation to the enforcement of the award to the tune of Rs 7200 crores passed...
The Supreme Court on Monday orally observed that India cannot aspire to be an international arbitration hub if there is no enforcement of arbitration awards.
A bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath made this observation while considering a petition filed by Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) in relation to the enforcement of the award to the tune of Rs 7200 crores passed in its favour against the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for DAMEPL, told the bench that about Rs 4500 crores remain unpaid. At this juncture, Justice Gavai turned to the Attorney General for India and said, "on the one hand there are public speeches about making Indian an international arbitration hub and then there is no enforcement of award!".
Justice Gavai pointed out that the Supreme Court had upheld the award and not following it will amount to contempt of court.
"If you really want India to be an international arbitration hub then it has to start from you, AG", Justice Gavai said.
AG R Venkataramani requested for 4 weeks time in the matter. However, the bench posted the matter to Wednesday.
The court is hearing a petition filed by DAMEPL seeking enforcement of the arbitration award dated May 11, 2017. In 2008, DMRC had signed a contract with DAMEPL, related to "the design, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the line".
However, due to certain disputes, the matter went into arbitration in 2012 - the DMRC invoked the arbitration after DAMEPL terminated the agreement on certain grounds. The award in favour of DAMEPL was upheld by the Supreme Court last year.
According to DMRC, it owes Rs.7,010.08 Crore to the Reliance subsidiary as on September 06. Till now, a sum of Rs.2,599.17 Crore has been paid to DAMEPL. The DMRC has sought Rs 3500 Crore each from Centre and Delhi government.
DAMEPL has filed an execution petition in the Delhi High Court to enforce the award.
Attorney General for India R. Venkataramani, appearing for DMRC, on October 10 had informed the High Court bench of Justice Rao that since the equity partners are applying their minds to the issue, it will be in the fitness of things that no adverse order touching upon the maintenance and operations of Delhi Metro is passed by the court.
The DMRC had also stated that if any adverse order is passed against the company at the present stage, its operations would come to a complete standstill, which would be prejudicial to the public interest considering that approximately 48 lakh journeys take place on a daily basis.
Case Title: DELHI AIRPORT METRO EXPRESS PRIVATE LIMITED vs. DELHI METRO RAIL CORPORATION LTD|Diary No.- 37734 - 2022
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