What's urgency when TN is not even party to arbitrator: Madras HC
Chennai: Despite the auto major Nissan expressing scope for an amicable solution with the Tamil Nadu government over unpaid tax refunds of nearly $770 million, on Wednesday, state government insisted that the Madras high court hear its plea against the international arbitration proceedings initiated by Nissan.
When the application filed by the state industries department came up for hearing before Justice Anita Sumanth, advocate general Vijay Narayan said that state government was aggrieved by the international arbitration. There is some urgency. Government was ready to proceed with the hearing of the case and this court need not defer the hearing, he added.
The judge said, “What is the urgency when Tamil Nadu is not even a party to the arbitration? How is the application maintainable?” The advocate general replied that state government and Nissan have an arbitration agreement between them and therefore, the application was well maintainable.
Senior counsel P.S. Raman appearing for Nissan said since there was no urgency, the case may be posted for hearing in June after the summer vacation. The next hearing of the arbitration proceedings was scheduled to be held on November 6, he pointed out. The judge posted the hearing to April 5 to decide the maintainability of the application.
It may be recalled that on March 6, Nissan informed the court that the state has commenced talks with it and sought to defer the hearing of the application filed by state government.
On December 4, 2017, the Tamil Nadu state industries department filed the present application to restrain Nissan Motor Co. Ltd in Japan and its local unit in Sipcot in Sriperumbudur from proceeding with the international arbitration between Nissan Motor Company and the Republic of India pursuant to the 2011 Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement between Japan and the Republic of India.