The government on Tuesday confirmed that a French court has ordered the freezing of certain Indian assets in Paris on a petition by Britain’s Cairn Energy, which is seeking to recover USD 1.72 billion from New Delhi after winning an arbitration against retro tax.
Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha said the government has filed an appeal against an international arbitration tribunal overturning levy of ₹10,247 crore in back taxes on Cairn Energy.
“Yes sir, an order has been passed by a French Court freezing certain Indian government properties in the case pertaining to Cairn Energy,” he said.
While the minister did not identify the properties, PTI had earlier this month reported that the 20-odd centrally located properties mostly comprise flats, valued at more than EUR 20 million. The French court, Tribunal Judiciaire de Paris, on June 11 agreed to Cairn’s application to freeze (through judicial mortgages) residential real estate owned by the Government of India in central Paris. The legal formalities for the same were completed earlier this month.
A three-member international arbitration tribunal that consisted of one judge appointed by India, had in December last year unanimously overturned the levy of taxes on Cairn retrospectively and ordered refund of shares sold, dividend confiscated and tax refunds withheld to recover such demand