In a huge relief for Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta, the Supreme Court rejected the government plea challenging an arbitration award allowing the company to recover $499M instead of $198M it had capped for developing the Ravva oil and gas fields.
The top court rejected the appeal against the February 19 order of the Delhi High Court saying that it has not made out a case of violation of procedural due process in the conduct of the arbitral proceedings.
A bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer, Indu Malhotra and Aniruddha Bose said, the Centre has not made out a case as to how the award is in conflict with the basic notions of justice, or in violation of the substantive public policy of India.
The apex court vacated the interim orders of status quo on June 17 and July 22 and held that the award dated January 18, 2011 passed by the tribunal is held to be enforceable in accordance with the provisions of Sections 47 and 49 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996.
The interpretation of the terms of the PSC lies within the domain of the tribunal. It is not open for the Appellants to impeach the award on merits before the enforcement court. The enforcement court cannot re-assess or re-appreciate the evidence led in the arbitration, the top court said.