The Supreme Court, like the High Court and the Court of Appeal before it, has decided that the courts of England and Wales can hear the dispute. 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In December 2018, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) allowed the reopening of the plant, but this was set aside by the Supreme Court, which said the NGT did not have the jurisdiction, more so when an appeal was pending before the appellate authority. However it may, in time, have the effect of limiting jurisdiction in the second type of case. Vedanta Resources PLC and another (Appellants) v Lungowe and others (Respondents) Judgment date. Anger against the company and the government is still palpable in this southern coastal town. The concept of ‘public policy’ is not immutable. The judgment is thus a step in the right direction to bring Indian arbitration law in conformity with international jurisprudence. Vedanta’s own published materials, reporting on the implementation of its group-wide policies on environmental management, formed the basis of the judge’s conclusion that there was an arguable case against Vedanta. ], Government of India v. Vedanta Limited: Supreme Court fortifies pro-enforcement approach, clarifies limitation period. The judgment was however overruled by a three- judge bench in Shri Lal Mahal v. Progetto Grano Spa[10] (Shri Lal Mahal) wherein the Court held that Section 48(2)(b) did not extend to objections based on mere errors in foreign awards, including decision allegedly contrary to the agreement between the parties. The Supreme Court upheld the decisions of the Technology and Construction Court and the Court of Appeal that: 1. there was a real issue to be tried against the second Defendant/Appellant ("Vedanta"), the parent company of the directly involved first Defendant/Appellant ("KCM"); 2. ), [1] Government of India v. Vedanta Ltd., 2020 SCC Online SC 749, [2] NAFED v. Alimenta, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 381, [3] Bank of Baroda v. Kotak Mahindra Bank, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 324, [4] Renusagar Power Co. Ltd. v. General Electric Co., 1994 Supp (1) SCC 644, [5] Noy Vallesina Engineering Spa v. Jindal Drugs Limited., 2006 SCC OnLine Bom 545, [6] Bharat Salt Refineries v. Compania, OSA No. The Apex Court in the instant case has made a conscious attempt to ensure smooth enforcement of foreign award by resolving the ambiguity concerning the period of limitation for enforcement of the foreign award and by narrowly interpreting public policy. Post the judgment in Shri Lal Mahal, several High courts sought to retrench the onerous threshold for resisting enforcement under Section 48(2)(b) of the Act. When the Supreme Court announced its verdict to hand the decision on Vedanta’s Niyamgiri mine back to the Dongria Kond and other affected people via a complex process of legal claim filing, gram sabhas and a final MoEF nod, both Vedanta and their opposition celebrated. The High Court had concluded Vedanta was sued in England genuinely, albeit that attracting English jurisdiction over KCM was an important contributor to that decision. "The doctrine of … The Bombay High Court  in Noy Vallesina Engineering SPA v. Jindal Drugs Limited [5] had held that since no specific period of limitation has been specified in the Arbitration Act for enforcement of a foreign award, the period of limitation of 3 years provided in Article 137 of the limitation Act would be applicable. The Supreme Court unanimously held that Vedanta Resources plc could be sued in England, applying Zambian law although this was agreed to share similar principles to English tort law. Background. The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, refused to grant interim relief to Vedanta Sterlite declining the mining giant’s plea for immediate reopening of its copper plant at Thoothukudi. 56 The Court’s frustration was palpable in Lord Briggs’ irritated rebuke to the defendants for ‘ignoring’ the well-known warnings … United Kingdom (UK) Supreme Court decision upholding jurisdiction and potential liability of a UK parent company in connection with alleged actions of a Zambian subsidiary company that took place in Zambia. Although every effort is made to maintain accurate information on this site, the Michigan Supreme Court does not guarantee the accuracy of … However, recently in NAFED v. Alimenta[12], pronounced on 22 April 2020, the Supreme Court refused enforcement of foreign award on the account of it being in violation of public policy. In basic terms, the substance of the claim has nothing to do with the UK. Daniel Vollmer, IBAHRI intern. The Supreme Court recently in a judgment titled Government of India (GOI) v Vedanta Ltd. (Vedanta) has rendered a decision affirming the pro-enforcement outlook with respect to the enforcement of a foreign award in India, which had taken a step back after the decision of Supreme Court in NAFED v. Alimenta. ( Log Out /  However, few positives have already been factored in the market in last 10 trading sessions. The Supreme Court has clearly lost its patience with the sort of tactical challenges to jurisdiction mounted in Vedanta, litigated in contravention of Lord Templeman’s assertion in The Spiliada that jurisdiction disputes should rarely go beyond first instance, with submissions ‘measured in hours, not days’. The Supreme Court handed down on 10 April 2019 its much anticipated judgment in Vedanta Resources PLC and another (Defendants/Appellants) v Lungowe and others (Claimants/Respondents) [2019] UKSC 20 ("Vedanta"). Avitel v HSBC: Finally a Uniform Standard on Arbitrability of Fraud? Vedanta’s fight to produce again from the factory has been through multiple courts, including a favorable verdict for the commodities major by the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court subsequently stalling the reopening. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Subsequently, protests against the plant led to police firing in which 13 people were killed. The Supreme Court recently in a judgment titled Government of India (GOI) v Vedanta Ltd.[1] (Vedanta) has rendered a decision affirming the pro-enforcement outlook with respect to the enforcement of a foreign award in India, which had taken a step back after the decision of Supreme Court in NAFED v. The relevant background to the Vedanta decision can be set out fairly briefly. The information is updated frequently based upon the needs of our users. The Court first settled the law regarding the period of limitation for filing an application for enforcement of a foreign award. Consequently, disparate views had been proffered by several High Courts on this issue. Meanwhile, Vedanta is expected to challenge the verdict before the Supreme Court. Vedanta then moved an application for enforcing the award at the Delhi High Court, which allowed the application and directed the government to make the payments. The Supreme Court has ruled today that a case brought by almost 2,000 Zambian villagers against Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and its parent company Vedanta Resources Plc can be heard by the English courts. § Residents of Thoothukudi gathered to protest the Sterlite copper-smelting plant (right) in May 2018. Credit: Sachin Babu/Facebook and PTI. Judgment (PDF) Press summary (PDF) Accessible versions. Vedanta Limited on Tuesday said it will consider all legal options including, appealing to the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court verdict refusing to allow the reopening of Sterlite Copper plant at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. Importantly, the decision would not prejudice those who did not act within the three-year period as the Supreme Court has granted liberty to seek condonation of delay in filing application for the enforcement of the award and has expounded that the ambiguity on the issue of limitation period is sufficient ground to condone delays. MUMBAI: Supreme Court's verdict on Niyamgiri mines today and on Goa mining tomorrow will decide the stock price movement of Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa on the bourses in the short term. By its very nature, ‘public policy’ is not capable of a precise definition. Lady Hale. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The ruling of the Supreme Court in this case thus reversed the pro-enforcement trend that the Indian Courts had developed with respect to the enforcement of a foreign award in the past few years. Tamil Nadu … On May 29, 2019. The Supreme Court has denied interim relief to Vedanta refusing the immediate reopening of the Sterlite plant for now, which remains shut since May 2018 over violations of environmental laws. KCM was … Monday 25 March 2019. The Supreme Court said that the lawsuit brought by 1,800 Zambian villagers can be heard in London despite arguments by Vedanta that the case should be tried by the Zambian courts. Although it’s a jurisdictional ruling, for the first time, the UK Court held that a parent company sitting in London could be legally liable for harms allegedly caused to community members living near its subsidiary’s mining operation in Zambia. On August 18, the Madras High Court dismissed a plea by the company seeking the smelter's reopening. New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the government go-ahead for the Central Vista project.“We hold that there are no infirmities in clearances given, change in … The Supreme Court was asked to deal with a number of questions relating to both the substantive legal basis for the claim, and jurisdiction. Extend your support to India's legal leaders of tomorrow. Oliver Holland, solicitor at … The decision undoubtedly paves the way for more environmental and human … The narrow approach adopted by the Supreme Court in instant case is thus consistent with the objective of the New York Convention and in also in sync with contemporary pro-arbitration jurisprudence. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Paul Sheridan, Jan Burgess and Laura Swithinbank, who work within the Environment and Health and Safety teams at CMS, comment on the decision handed down in the matter of Vedanta Resources Plc & Anor v Lungowe & Ors [2019] UKSC 20. New Delhi, Aug 26: Vedanta on Wednesday moved to the Supreme Court challenging the Madras High court's order, which had rejected Vedanta's … Judgment (Accessible PDF) T It is important to mention that appeal in Okpabi has been granted following the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Lungowe v Vedanta “Vedanta”), another high-profile case concerning limits of the parent company liability for the acts and omissions of an overseas subsidiary. ( Log Out /  MUMBAI: Supreme Court's verdict on Niyamgiri mines today and on Goa mining tomorrow will decide the stock price movement of Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa on the bourses in the short term. ( Log Out /  A three-judge bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman posted the case for a detailed hearing for January, 2021. * The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by, Copyright © 2021 The Indian Express [P] Ltd. All Rights Reserved, Thoothukudi copper plant: No immediate SC relief for Vedanta, Vedanta’s unit Sterlite Industries, which owns the plant in Tuticorin, produced 4.08 lakh tonnes of copper in 2017-18, which dropped to 89,700 tonnes in 2018-19 following the closure, according to a note by CARE Ratings. The Court relied upon its previous decision in Bank of Baroda v. Kotak Mahindra Bank [3]to expound that since Article 136 of Limitation Act, 1963 is applicable only to decrees of a civil court in India, the enforcement of a foreign award would be covered by residuary provision i.e. Following this, the state government ordered the permanent closure of the plant. The recent landmark judgment of the UK Supreme Court in Vedanta Resources PLC and another v Lungowe and others [2019] UKSC 20 (“Vedanta”) has confirmed that a lawsuit brought by 1,800 Zambian villagers can be heard in London despite arguments by Vedanta that the case should be tried by the Zambian courts. The Supreme Court’s ruling means the case against Vedanta and KCM can be heard in the British High Court, as the Zambian claimants initially wanted, and enables Vedanta, which is headquartered in London and has a market capitalisation of around $3.14bn, to be … Vedanta approached the Apex Court challenging the Madras High Court decision of rejection to open Sterlite Tuticorn plant. For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App. Views expressed on this blog are strictly personal and attributable solely to the author(s). Tuesday April 30, 2019. The Supreme Court has handed down a significant judgment in Vedanta Resources Plc and Konkola Copper Mines Plc v Lungowe and Ors, finding an arguable case that the UK parent could be liable for the operations of its overseas subsidiary. [2] The judgment also holds significance as the Supreme Court has finally settled the ambiguity concerning the period of limitation for enforcement of a foreign award. On the other hand, Madras High Court in  M/S Bharat Salt Refineries Ltd. v. M/S Compania Naviera [6]and the High Court of Delhi in Cairn India Limited v. Union of India[7]  had taken a contrary view by holding that the period of limitation of 12 years provided under Article 136 of the Limitation Act would be applicable both for enforcement and the execution of the foreign award. Learn how your comment data is processed. Though the decision of the Supreme Court in NAFED v. Alimenta took an unprecedented overturn by unnecessarily transgressing the permissible degree of interference in enforcing a foreign award, the Supreme Court in present case by reaffirming the narrow approach enunciated in Renusagar[13] has once again fortified a pro-enforcement approach. The jurisdiction arguments . The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the interim plea of Vedanta seeking permission to inspect its Sterlite copper unit at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, which is … The Supreme Court held that there was no such abuse of EU law. Lord Wilson, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Briggs. The Michigan Supreme Court is providing the information on this site as a public service. The bench also refused to order status quo on the closure until Vedanta went on appeal to the Supreme Court. This ruling could have wider implications for companies who make public commitments relating to their responsibilities to communities and the environment and then fail to put these into practice. India's Supreme Court has given permission for the British-owned Vedanta mining company to begin extracting bauxite from the Niyamgiri mountain in Orissa state. Neutral citation number [2019] UKSC 20. The UK Supreme Court's (UKSC) recent, landmark judgment in Vedanta Resources PLC and anor. Any exceptions to Article 4.1 are to … The Supreme Court refused to issue a so-called stay halting the NGT’s decision, but admitted the Tamil Nadu state’s appeal before the high court, allowing that case to proceed. A local court also rejected Vedanta’s plea in August. On 10 April 2019, the UK Supreme Court gave judgment in a procedural dispute over … They are students at Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi. The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned to February a plea filed by Goa Congress Chief Girish Chodankar seeking for a direction to the Goa Assembly … Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The Supreme Court unanimously decided the case should proceed in English courts, dismissing the appellants’ arguments against English courts assuming jurisdiction. The Supreme Court refused to issue a so-called stay halting the NGT`s decision, said Vedanta Legal Counsel Aryama Sundaram in a voice recording sent by Whatsapp to reporters by the company`s public relations firm Brand-comm after the high court session. The recent decision of the Supreme Court in Vedanta Resources PLC and another v Lungowe and others 1 concerned the first type of case and resulted in success for the claimants in establishing jurisdiction here. The Supreme Court today reserved its judgement on a petition challenging the validity of the $8.5 billion Cairn-Vedanta deal and seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into it. On 10 April 2019, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom delivered its highly-anticipated decision in the case of Vedanta v. Lungowe (Lungowe v. Vedanta in the lower courts). In view of this pro-enforcement approach, Section 48 (2) (b) does not permit a review on the merit of the foreign award. Now that the Supreme Court has decided that the case can proceed in the English courts in relation to both Vedanta Resources and KCM, the parties can proceed to a full trial of the issues. Aggrieved, the Government of India filed an appeal before the Apex Court. In a landmark ruling, the Indian Supreme Court today rejected an appeal to allow Vedanta Resources to mine the Niyamgiri hills. Article 137 of Limitation Act, which prescribes a period of three years from when the right to apply accrues. The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Tamil Nadu government on an appeal filed by Vedanta Ltd. against the Madras High Court’s … ground of patent illegality cannot be invoked in international commercial arbitration, and time line of 1 year for completion of arbitral proceedings is not applicable to international commercial arbitration. The UK Supreme Court’s recent decision in Vedanta v. Lungowe is an important read for corporate responsibility practitioners. In a complex judgement, the court decreed that those most affected by the proposed mine should have a decisive say in whether it goes ahead. Moreover, the court declined to order status quo until Vedanta moved the Supreme Court for recourse. It is the parent of a multinational group, listed on the London Stock Exchange, with interests in minerals, power, oil and gas in four continents. ( Log Out /  The Court  then referred to the works of Albert van den Berg in his Commentary on “The New York Arbitration Convention, 1958:Towards a Uniform Judicial Interpretation” as well as ICCI’s guide to conclude that it is a well settled position in law that there shall beno review on merits. However, the Malaysian High Court upon the application of Malaysian Arbitration Act, 2005 found no reason which would merit intervention with the award. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Change ). Alimenta. The Court has finally put to rest the ambiguity in computing the period of limitation for filing enforcement proceedings, which was long pending to be resolved because of conflicting decisions of High Courts. 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The recent Supreme Court decision of Vedanta v Lungowe[1] is now the leading case on establishing jurisdiction in England for claims against parent companies and their subsidiaries for alleged environmental and human rights abuses of the subsidiary committed abroad. On 15–16 of January 2019, the UK Supreme Court heard an appeal in the case of Vedanta Resources PLC and another v Lungowe and others. In its plea before the Supreme Court, Vedanta challenged the Madras High Court’s August 2020 decision refusing the request for the reopening of the copper smelter plant. UGC Exam Guidelines 2020: Supreme Court verdict likely today. The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Case ID. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines. Case Comment: Vedanta Resources Plc & Anor v Lungowe & Ors [2019] UKSC 20. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The damage … India, being a signatory to New York Convention, follows the approach of refusal to enforce an award on the public policy ground only if the award is so fundamentally offensive to the jurisdiction of the enforcement court’s notions of justice and morality. But the Apex Court in Phulchand Exports Limited v. OOO Patriot [9]expanded the scope of Section 48(2)(b). Vedanta Resources and subsidiary to face justice the UK over human rights harms in Zambia APRIL 10, 2019 Today, the ICJ and the CORE Coalition welcomed the decision of the United Kingdom Supreme Court to allow a complaint to proceed against Vedanta Resources Plc and its Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), alleging serious harm from extraction activities in Zambia. In December, India`s National Green Tribunal (NGT) revoked the state decision to shut the plant leading Tamil Nadu to appeal the NGT ruling. v Lungowe and others [2019] UKSC 20 will undoubtedly have an impact on such claims. The subsequent appeal to the Malaysian Court of Appeal was squarely rejected in 2014 to which the Indian government preferred a leave to appeal before the Malaysian Federal Court, which was also dismissed in 2016. UKSC 2017/0185. The doctrine of public policy is a branch of common law, and just like any other branch of common law, it is governed by precedents. In his interview Kutia Kond activist Kumuti Majhi states: “When the Orissa chief minister came to lay foundation [of Vedanta’s project], if we were five of us, they were a hundred. In reaching its decision, the Supreme Court extensively reviewed merits of the case and terms of the contract, something which the Indian Courts have repeatedly laid down is not permissible within the scope of Section 48(2)(b). The Supreme Court’s decision. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Vedanta submitted in the court that the plant provide employment to 4000 people and fulfills 36% or country copper needs and said that India is dependent on imports of copper after the shut down . However, the Tamil Nadu government challenged the NGT decision in Supreme Court in January 2019, stating NGT didn’t have the jurisdiction to allow the reopening of the plant. The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to grant any immediate interim relief to Vedanta Ltd to run its copper smelter plant in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi and said it will hear in detail its plea challenging the state government’s decision to close … Vedanta Ltd., controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, suffered a blow after a top court stalled the resumption of operations at its Indian copper smelter, dashing hopes of a … The dispute emanated from Article 15 of the Production Sharing Contract executed by the parties in 1994. V. 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