Pressure mounts

Cairn Energy files case to force India to pay $1.2bn

Simon Thomson

Simon Thomson: meeting Indian minister

Cairn Energy is taking legal action to force the Indian government to pay a $1.2 billion arbitration award won by the Edinburgh company in a tax dispute.

So far the government in New Delhi has failed to meet its obligations after an arbitration body in December awarded the firm damages plus interest and costs.

The tribunal ruled India breached an investment treaty with Britain and said New Delhi was liable to pay.

Cairn has asked a US district court to recognise and confirm the award, including payments due since 2014 and interest compounded semi-annually, according to the February 12 filing seen by Reuters.

The case marked a first step in Cairn’s efforts towards recovering its dues, potentially by seizing Indian assets, if the government did not pay.

Reuters reported last month that Cairn was identifying India’s overseas assets, including bank accounts and even Air India planes or Indian ships, that could be seized in the absence of a settlement.

Cairn declined to comment but its chief executive Simon Thomson is meeting India’s finance minister in Delhi next week.

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