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US court cites Antrix ‘delay’ tactics, refuses to stay proceedings in case

The US federal court for the Western district of Washington has cited delays in the appointment of an advocate for Devas Multimedia by a liquidator for the company while rejecting a plea for a stay on confirmation of a September 14, 2015 International Chamber of Commerce arbitration award.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: August 12, 2021 5:39:36 am
The liquidator appointed on the orders of the National Company Law Tribunal in Bengaluru had opposed the move by three foreign investors in Devas Multimedia to seek confirmation of the arbitration award by citing an order for liquidation of Devas by NCLT.

A US federal court has refused to stay proceedings in a plea by foreign investors in Devas Multimedia seeking confirmation of $1.3 billion compensation to be paid by Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, on account of a failed 2005 deal for Antrix to build and launch two satellites for Devas.

The US federal court for the Western district of Washington has cited delays in the appointment of an advocate for Devas Multimedia by a liquidator for the company while rejecting a plea for a stay on confirmation of a September 14, 2015 International Chamber of Commerce arbitration award.

The liquidator appointed on the orders of the National Company Law Tribunal in Bengaluru had opposed the move by three foreign investors in Devas Multimedia to seek confirmation of the arbitration award by citing an order for liquidation of Devas by NCLT.

“The liquidator for petitioner fired petitioner’s former counsel in early February 2021 and although the court directed the liquidator to hire new counsel in compliance with the local civil rules on March 23, 2021, the liquidator waited nearly four months to do so on July 14, 2021,” the US court has observed. “As the court has repeatedly emphasized, this matter has been subjected to hindrance and delay, largely on the part of respondent Antrix Corp. Ltd. The parties’ dispute arises from conduct in February 2011, the award was issued in favor of petitioner in September 2015, and petitioner’s related confirmation action was filed in this court nearly three years ago in September 2018,” the district judge Thomas S Zilly noted.

“The court concludes that petitioner’s motion for a stay lacks merit under these circumstances and is intended to further delay these proceedings, as well as petitioners or intervenors’ right to recover on the award,” the US court has stated.

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