ISRO’s Antrix Corporation has challenged in the Delhi High Court its single judge order agreeing to hear Devas Multimedia’s plea to attach its bank accounts to secure damages worth USD 672 million awarded to the latter by an international tribunal. Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) arbitration body, International Court of Arbitration, in its September 2015 ruling had asked Antrix to pay damages worth USD 672 million (Rs 4432 crore) to Devas for “unlawfully” terminating a deal in 2011 citing national security reasons.
The matter was listed before a bench of Justices Indira Bannerjee and Anil Kumar Chawla but could not be taken up today as one of the judges was not available.
Antrix’ plea against the single judge’s order of February 28 has been listed for hearing on March 24.
The single judge had rejected Antrix’s contention that that Delhi High Court did not have the jurisdiction to hear Devas’ plea as the contract was executed in Bangalore and both the companies were also based there.
Justice S Muralidhar had said that though the City Civil Court in Bangalore may have the territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction, it cannot grant any of the reliefs sought by Antrix in its plea there.
Antrix, in its plea of 2011, had sought directions to Devas, restraining it from proceeding with the ICC arbitration, contrary to the agreement between them, and from getting it modified by the ICC.
Antrix contended that till the court in Bangalore decided whether it had the jurisdiction, the Delhi High Court could not have taken up the plea of Devas.
The single judge had disagreed with Antrix’ contention, saying that the only order that can possibly be passed by the Bangalore City Civil Court was that none of the reliefs sought by Antrix in its 2011 plea can be granted.
The judge had said that “waiting indefinitely” for such a decision “would be an exercise in futility”.
He had also directed Antrix to withdraw its plea from the Bangalore court.
Antrix had filed a plea in November 2015 in the Bangalore court challenging the arbitral award.