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Britain's Cairn Energy files case in US to push India to pay $1.2 billion award

Cairn asked the US court to recognise and confirm the award, including payments due since 2014 and interest compounded semi-annually, according to the February 12 filing seen by Reuters.

February 17, 2021 / 03:17 PM IST
File image: Cairn Energy

File image: Cairn Energy

Cairn Energy has filed a case in a US district court to enforce a $1.2 billion arbitration award it won in a tax dispute against India, a court document showed, ratcheting up pressure on the government to pay its dues.

In December, an arbitration body awarded the British firm damages of more than $1.2 billion plus interest and costs. The tribunal ruled India breached an investment treaty with Britain and said New Delhi was liable to pay.

Cairn asked the US court to recognise and confirm the award, including payments due since 2014 and interest compounded semi-annually, according to the February 12 filing seen by Reuters.

The case marked a first step in Cairn’s efforts towards recovering its dues, potentially by seizing Indian assets, if the government did not pay, a source with knowledge of the arbitration case told Reuters.

“If Cairn wins the case, it will be a step towards attaching and seizing Indian assets overseas, especially in the US,” the source said.

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Reuters reported last month that Cairn was identifying India’s overseas assets, including bank accounts and even Air India planes or Indian ships, that could be seized in the absence of a settlement.

Cairn declined to comment but pointed to a Feb. 9 Twitter post where it said Chief Executive Simon Thomson was looking forward to meeting India’s Finance Minister in Delhi next week.

“We would request, along with others, that the Indian government move swiftly to adhere to the award that has been given,” Thomson said in the video posted on Twitter by Cairn.

“It is important for our shareholders who are global financial institutions and who want to see a positive investment climate in India. I am sure that in working together with the government we can swiftly draw this to conclusion and reassure those investors,” he said.
Reuters
first published: Feb 16, 2021 08:17 pm

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