Thursday, June 30, 2022

India loses property worth hundreds of millions in France

Cairn Energy, a UK-based oil and gas company, has taken over huge assets of the Indian government in France. The company seized the property on the orders of a French court without receiving any arrears from India. According to the BBC, Cairn seized 20 Indian properties in the center of the French capital, Paris, on Thursday. They have also filed lawsuits in the United States to take over Air India, as well as the British company is tracking the Indian government’s assets in various countries around the world.

Cairn Energy told the BBC that the Indian government had unjustly imposed extra taxes on them, prompting both sides to go to The Hague’s International Arbitration Court. The verdict there went in favor of Cairn. That is why they have started collecting arrears.

It is known that this conflict between the Indian government and Cairn started several years ago. The two sides got into trouble over the Indian government’s imposition of taxes on Cairn. At one stage it reached the International Court of Justice. It said the Indian government had violated the 2014 UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty by imposing taxes.

Cairn said the International Arbitration Court ruled in their favor in December last year that the Indian government should repay 1.8 billion. The court also ordered to pay interest.

Cairn appealed to courts in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Singapore to enforce the ruling. Following this, a French court recently approved the seizure of Indian properties in Paris.

It is known that most of these properties are residential houses, with a total market value of at least 20 million euros in Paris. And in Indian currency the amount is more than 16 crore rupees.

David Nisbet, director of group corporate affairs at Cairn Energy, said six-and-a-half months had passed since the arbitral tribunal’s verdict, but India had not settled the arrears. That is why they had to make this decision.

But the Indian government says it has not received any such instruction from a French court. “We have not received any directive or letter from the French court in this regard,” the finance ministry said in a statement. India has appealed against the verdict of the International Court of Arbitration on March 22. The Indian authorities have said they will continue to fight the legal battle in this regard.

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