Cairn and Devas lawsuits won’t affect Air India divestment: government

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Lawsuits brought by Cairn Energy and Devas Multimedia in the United States are not expected to impact Air India’s divestment process, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh said on Thursday. He said Air India is a legal person with its own management and board of directors and therefore will not be affected. Cairn and Devas are asking India for $ 1.72 billion and $ 1.2 billion respectively, which they won in international arbitrations.

Cairn Energy and Devas Multimedia have filed lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for a declaratory and pecuniary judgment against Air India Limited as an alter ego of the Republic of India, “Singh said in a written response to a question. to Lok Sabha, adding that there will be no impact on the divestment process.

“The case is being defended by Air India Limited. The company has appointed lawyers to defend its interests,” Singh said.

In another response to Lok Sabha, Singh said bids from qualified bidders are expected to be received by September 15. Air India’s divestment process began in January last year.

In May this year, Cairn Energy filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and said Air India is so controlled by the Indian government that it is acts of an “alter ego” and that, therefore, the airline should be responsible for the arbitration award.

The Scottish company invested in the oil and gas sector in India in 1994 and a decade later made a huge oil discovery in Rajasthan. In 2006, she listed her Indian assets for BSE. Five years later, the government passed retroactive tax law and charged Cairn Rs 10,247 crore plus interest and penalties for the reorganization related to the issue.

Cairn’s remaining shares in the Indian entity were liquidated, dividends seized and tax refunds withheld to recover part of the amount. Cairn challenged that decision in an arbitral tribunal in The Hague, which awarded him $ 1.2 billion plus costs and interest, for an amount of $ 1.72 billion.

On October 27 last year, a US court asked Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), to pay $ 1.2 billion in compensation to a Bengaluru-based startup. , Devas Multimedia, for canceling a satellite deal in 2005.

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