Khaitan Holdings files international arbitration against Indian govt
Moneylife Digital Team 01 October 2013

Mauritius-based Khaitan Holdings owns about 27% stake in Loop Telecom, whose 2G licences in 21 circles were cancelled by the Supreme Court

Mauritius-based Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) Ltd (KHML), which holds 26.95% stake in Loop Telecom, has filed international arbitration against the Indian government. KHML is seeking damages of over $1 billion for 2G licences in which it had invested and were cancelled by Supreme Court on 2 February 2012.


“The claimant, Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) Ltd (KHML) hereby demands arbitration with the respondent, the Union of India,” the notice served by KHML to Indian government said.


Loop Telecom's all 21 telecom licences for 2G were cancelled by apex court.


Mauritius-based KHML said that Loop paid a cash entry of Rs1,454.94 crore and financial guarantees worth Rs812 crore. KHML has sought return of $140 million invested by it in Loop along with 12% interest from the date of receipt of the investment till the date it receives the claim, its share of the lost shareholder revenue estimated in excess of $1 billion, loss of the market values of the licences in excess of $300 million.


Loop’s investor has held various round of meetings with government representative but failed to arrive at any conclusion.


Following failure of talks with the Indian government, KHML has invoked international arbitration and offered to hold arbitration outside India in London or Dubai.


The firm has filed arbitration under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and nominated Singapore-based individual Francis Xavier SC as its arbitrator.


KHML in the notice said that the Supreme Court judgment has held Indian government’s process to issue licence “seriously flawed and legally untenable, as well as its policy being inherently arbitrary,” and neither KHML nor Loop were blamed for this.


“Despite this, neither adequate or any compensation has been paid to KHML and the spectrum has been subsequently re-bid,” the notice said.


The Mauritius-based investor first served notice to the government in April 2012 for resolving disputes under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements following cancellation of all of Loop licences by the apex court.


Mauritius-based Kaif Investments and Capital Global, majority investor in Loop Telecom had served notice under BIPA in April 2012, following which government representatives have held three rounds of discussion.

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