The Supreme Court Wednesday withdrew the appointment of former Australian judge James Jacob Spigelman as a presiding arbitrator in disputes between Reliance Industries and the centre over the shortfall in gas production in the KG basin and its consequential implications.
Justice Spigelman’s appointment was withdrawn after senior counsel Dushyant Dave pointed out to Justice S.S. Nijjar that the Australian’s name topped the preferred list of arbitrators submitted by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries.
Dave told the court that it had in its March 31 order said that it was not appointing anyone who was in the list of names suggested by the RIL and the government. However, the name of Justice Spigelman was in the list of the preferred arbitrators given by RIL.
Withdrawing the name of Justice Spigelman as the presiding arbitrator in RIL-government dispute, Justice S.S. Nijjar observed that it was an oversight and he would be appointing another presiding arbitrator in place of Justice Spigelman.
Justice Nijjar by his March 31, 2014, judgment had appointed Justice Spigelman.
Brushing aside objections to the appointment of a foreign arbitrator to preside over the arbitration proceedings, Justice Nijjar in his order had said: “Upon due consideration, I hereby appoint …James Spigelman…, former chief justice and lieutenant governor of New South Wales, Australia as the third arbitrator who shall act as the chairman of the Arbitral Tribunal”.
The court which had sought the list of eminent individuals by RIL and the government so that one of them could be appointed as third arbitrator, appointed Justice Spigelman after carrying out a discrete survey.
Appointing Justice Spigelman as third arbitrator, Justice Nijjar, in his judgment of March 31, had said, “Although two lists have been duly supplied by the counsel for the parties, I am of the opinion, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, it would be appropriate if an individual not named by any of the parties is appointed as the third arbitrator.”
Justice Nijjar in his order said, “I have discretely conducted a survey to find a suitable third arbitrator who is not a national of any of the parties involved in the dispute.”
………… IANS | <news:geo_locations>New Delhi > April 2, 2014> Last Updated at 17:16 IST