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KG gas case takes new turn

New Delhi, April 2 (PTI): The Supreme Court today withdrew the name of James Spigelman, former Chief Justice and Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales, Australia, who was appointed as the third arbitrator to resolve the dispute between the Centre and Reliance Industries on KG basin.

Justice S.S. Nijjar, who had appointed Spigelman, agreed to withdraw his name after the Centre contended that the name of the former Chief Justice of New South Wales was mentioned in the list of names proposed by the Reliance group for appointment as an independent arbitrator.

The apex court had on March 31 named Spigelman as the third arbitrator who shall act as the chairman of the arbitral tribunal. Two other members of the tribunal are former Chief Justices of India — S.P. Bharucha and V.N. Khare.

While Mukesh Ambani-led RIL nominated Justice Bharucha as its arbitrator, the Centre chose Justice Khare as its nominee.

Justice Nijjar had said both the Centre and RIL provided the list of foreign arbitrators, but he did his own survey to maintain neutrality.

“Although two lists have been duly supplied by the learned counsel for the parties, I am of the opinion it would be appropriate if an individual not named by any of the parties is appointed as the third arbitrator. I have discretely conducted a survey to find a suitable third arbitrator who is not a national of any of the parties involved in the dispute,” he had said.

 
 
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