Govt condemns false reporting on Cairn legal dispute
The government has filed an application on March 22 to set aside the highly flawed December 2020 international arbitral award in The Hague Court of Appeal
The Finance Ministry on Sunday dismissed media reports that the Government of India has purportedly asked state-owned banks to withdraw funds from foreign currency accounts abroad in anticipation of the potential seizure of such accounts with regard to the Cairn legal dispute.
Condemning all such source based reports as “false,” the Ministry of Finance said these are totally incorrect reports which were not based on true facts
“Certain vested parties appear to have orchestrated such misleading reporting, which often relies upon unnamed sources and presents a lopsided picture of factual and legal developments in the case,” the Ministry said.
It further said that the Government of India is vigorously defending its case in this legal dispute.
“It is a fact that the Government has filed an application on March 22, 2021 to set aside the highly flawed December 2020 international arbitral award in The Hague Court of Appeal,” the Ministry said.
The Government has raised several arguments that warrant setting aside of the award including but not limited to: (i) the arbitral tribunal improperly exercised jurisdiction over a national tax dispute that the Republic of India never offered and/or agreed to arbitrate; (ii) the claims underlying the award are based on an abusive tax avoidance scheme that were a gross violation of Indian tax laws, thereby depriving Cairn’s alleged investments of any protection under the India-UK bilateral investment treaty; and (iii) the award improperly ratifies Cairn’s scheme to achieve Double Non-Taxation, which was designed to avoid paying taxes anywhere in the world, a significant public policy concern for governments worldwide.
“The Government is committed to pursuing all legal avenues to defend its case in this dispute worldwide,” the Ministry said.
It added that the CEO and the representatives of Cairns have approached the Government of India 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.