The Ministry of Finance has said that the government has not received any “notice, order of communication” from any French court on approval to Cairn Energy to seize 20 state-owned properties in Paris. On Thursday, reports stated that the oil group from UK froze properties owned by Indian government in an attempt to force Centre to pay up $1.7 billion arbitration award in connection to a tax dispute case.
“Government is trying to ascertain the facts, and whenever such an order is received, appropriate legal remedies will be taken, in consultation with its Counsels, to protect the interests of India,” stated the ministry.
The ministry said that the government had already filed an application on March 22 to set aside the December 2020 international arbitral award in the Hague Court of Appeal. “Government of India will vigorously defend its case in Set Aside proceedings at The Hague,” stated the ministry.
The statement by the government added that CEO and representatives of Cairn Energy have approached the government for discussions to resolve the matter. “Constructive discussions have been held and the Government remains open for an amicable solution to the dispute within the country’s legal framework,” it added.
This response by the government comes after a report in Financial Times stated that the company effectively froze 20 properties worth more than 20 million euros, owned by the Indian government. Cairn has been trying to get the Indian government to pay up $1.7 billion that was awarded by an international tribunal over a tax dispute. According to the report, Cairn has identified $70 billion of assets including buildings and Air India aircraft across the globe that it might try to seize if the government does not pay up. The asset freeze application in Paris is the first one to fructify.
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