Centre asks for time for decision on appealing against int’l arbitration award in Vodafone’s favour

New Delhi: The Centre Tuesday sought time in the Delhi High Court to respond whether it would challenge an international arbitration tribunal’s award in favour of telecom major Vodafone under the India-Netherland Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) in connection with Rs 22,100 crore tax demand.
A bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon was informed by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma that the instructions are still awaited as the decision is to be taken by the empowered committee of the Central government, which has not met.
The ASG’s reply came on the court’s query raised on October 7 as to whether it intends to abide by the international arbitration tribunal’s decision or will challenge it further.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Vodafone, said there was no cause left for the continuation of the present injunction proceedings.
He submitted that the Vodafone shall not proceed with the second international arbitration under the India-UK BIPA, commenced in Singapore, until the award published under the India-Netherland BIPA, if at all, is set aside.
The bench, in its order, said, We are of the view that in view of the said statement of vodafone, the appeal can be disposed of.
The ASG sought two weeks time to consider this and the court listed the matter for further hearing on December 8.

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