Cairn Energy hails victory in billion-dollar Indian legal case

Shares in Edinburgh-based energy firm Cairn have surged on the news of its victory in its long-running Indian legal battle – winning damages of $1.2 billion (£894,000).

The oil and gas exploration and development company started proceedings against India in 2015. Picture: contributed.
The oil and gas exploration and development company started proceedings against India in 2015. Picture: contributed.

Cairn said the claim – which centred on restructuring it undertook ahead of the flotation of its Indian unit in 2007 – was brought under the terms of the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty, the legal seat of the tribunal was the Netherlands and the proceedings were under the registry of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The FTSE 250 firm said the tribunal ruled “unanimously” that India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the treaty and has awarded it the damages.

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Cairn began proceedings against India in 2015 following retrospective taxation actions undertaken by the country’s income tax department a year earlier. Earlier this year it had said it expected the matter to be resolved in the summer of 2020.

The business recently announced that it was returning $250m to shareholders after selling off its Senegalese assets.

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