DoCoMo sues Tata Sons in US court with $1.17 billion suit

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| Saturday, October 8, 2016 - 21:39
First Published |
DoCoMo, Tata, London Court of International Arbitration, arbitral award, pre-existing regulations, payment

Tata Sons says, it would resist the enforcement and filed evidence before the English High Court of Justice

Kolkata: In a dispute between NTT DoCoMo and Tata Sons over the enforcement of a US $1.17 billion award by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the Japanese firm has moved a US court.

Tata Sons said that it would resist the enforcement and filed evidence before the English High Court of Justice in London supporting its application for setting aside the UK court order.

In a statement issued on late Friday night, the Indian conglomerate said that it has from the outset "emphasised its commitment to honouring its contractual obligations to DoCoMo in accordance with the applicable law".

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"... performance of the award requires the approval of the Reserve Bank of India, which to date has been denied on the basis of pre-existing regulations that are fully in the knowledge of DoCoMo. Until it has been authorised to proceed with payment by the relevant Indian legal authority, Tata Sons has been advised that enforcement of the award would be contrary to Indian law and public policy,” said a Tata Sons spokesperson.

On that basis, Tata Sons is resisting enforcement in India and will resist enforcement in any other jurisdiction DoCoMo files for enforcement, he said.

According to a statement, the company has already "placed the full amount awarded to DoCoMo in the arbitration - US$ 1.17 billion, in cash - with the High Court of Delhi", where the Japanese company had previously filed for enforcement of the arbitral award. "The entire issue is pending adjudication," the spokesperson said.

In a separate statement issued late on Friday, Tata Sons also informed that the company on Friday filed evidence in support of its September 5, 2016 application before the English High Court of Justice. "The application seeks to set aside the Court's July 25th, 2016 ex-parte order that granted NTT DoCoMo Inc. leave to enforce the LCIA arbitral award dated June 22nd, 2016," the spokesperson said.

Its evidence outlines the grounds on which enforcement of the award will be resisted by it.

"These include: first, that DoCoMo has not validly tendered its shares in Tata Teleservices to Tata Sons; second, that performance of the award without approval by the Reserve Bank of India would be illegal under Indian law and/or contrary to public policy," the company said.

"By pursuing the above application, Tata Sons is following the path laid down by the arbitral tribunal in the award. The tribunal expressly left open the issue of whether performance of the award would require approval from the RBI. Tata sought such approval and was refused.

"Accordingly, Tata Sons' actions do not, in any manner, detract from its stated commitment to discharge its obligations to the fullest extent permitted under law," the statement said.

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