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Delhi High Court seeks Vodafone’s response to centre's plea against international arbitration

June 01, 2018

The Delhi High Court has sought the response of Vodafone on the central government's plea against the international arbitration that the company has initiated against India under the India-UK Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) regarding a tax demand of Rs 110 billion. The court has sought the reply by July 5, 2018.

Earlier, the central government had appealed against a single judge order dismissing its plea against the international arbitration initiated by Vodafone. In its appeal, the Centre has challenged the decision of the single judge permitting consolidation of two international arbitrations initiated by the company against India under the India-Netherlands BIPA and India-UK BIPA.

The court refrained from passing any other order after Vodafone assured that nothing will happen till middle of July in the international arbitration. The company also told the court it will not sign the terms of reference regarding the arbitration.

Vodafone had initiated the arbitration proceedings under the India-UK and India-Netherlands BIPA in connection with the tax demand of the central government in relation to its $11 billion deal to acquire stake of Hutchison Telecom.

While proceedings under the India-Netherlands BIPA were pending, Vodafone initiated a second arbitration under India-UK BIPA in January 2017.

According to the government, Vodafone Group had abused the process of law by initiating two international arbitrations. The single judge, while dismissing the government's plea, gave it liberty to raise the issue of abuse of process before the consolidated India-UK BIPA tribunal.

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