Supreme Court in the case of Vedanta, Ravva Oil (Singapore) & Videocon holds enforcement of foreign award to 3 years
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas acted for Vedanta Limited, Ravva Oil (Singapore) PTE Limited and Videocon Industries Limited (through its Resolution Professional), the award holders in these proceedings, against the Government of India.
By this judgment, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court has upheld the enforcement of the foreign award, as was done by way of a judgment of the Delhi High Court of February, 2020.
The Supreme Court has, by a significant judgment in arbitration law that was pronounced on 14th October, held that the limitation period for enforcement of a foreign award is 3 years.
The award holders were represented before the Supreme Court by Mr. C.A. Sundaram, Sr. Adv. and Mr. Akhil Sibal, Sr. Adv. instructed by the team of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas comprising of Anirudh Das and Aashish Gupta, Partners; Arjun Pall, Principal Associate and Anirudh Lekhi, Associate. The Government of India was represented by Mr. K.K. Venugopal, Attorney General and Mr. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, instructed by Mr. R.S. Sasiprabhu & Co. Mr. Gourab Banerji was appointed as Amicus Curiae by the Supreme Court.
While holding that the period of limitation for enforcement of a foreign award would be 3 years, the Supreme Court has held that the residuary provision of Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963 would apply.
The Supreme Court has further held that the bar on condonation of delay under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 in relation to proceedings under Order 21 of CPC would not apply to proceedings for enforcement of a foreign award as these proceedings are in the nature of substantive proceedings under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which is a complete code in itself.
Further, the Supreme Court has also held that in a foreign seated arbitration with Indian law as the substantive law of the contract, the curial courts hearing the challenge proceedings in the seat jurisdiction are justified in deciding these proceedings by applying the curial law.
The subsequent proceedings for enforcement of a foreign award are a distinct and separate set of proceedings, where the Indian courts enforcing a foreign award are to decide the question of enforceability on the basis of Indian law.
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas acted through its Resolution professional in the matter