Ravva fields: SC upholds award favouring Vedanta

Centre liable to pay $476 million

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the foreign arbitration tribunal award in favour of Vedanta Ltd. and Videocon Industries Ltd. to recover $476 million from the government, instead of $198 million capped by it, for developing Ravva oil and gas fields.

In a setback to the Centre, the top court rejected its appeal against the February 19 order of the Delhi High Court saying that it had not made out a case of violation of procedural due process in the conduct of the arbitral proceedings.

While upholding the high court verdict, a bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer, Indu Malhotra and Aniruddha Bose saidthe enforcement of the foreign award did not contravene the public policy of India, or that it was contrary to the basic notions of justice.

The top 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 bench said the Centre was aggrieved by the interpretation taken by the tribunal with respect to provision of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and its other sub-clauses.

The interpretation of the terms of the PSC lay within the domain of the tribunal and that it was not open for the appellants to impeach the award on merits before the enforcement court, the top court said.

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