Business Standard reported that Bombay High Court has directed Essar House Private Limited and Essar Services Private Limited to deposit the refundable security payable to ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India. In an order passed on December 10, Essar House Private Limited has been ordered and directed to deposit with the Prothonotary and Senior Master an amount of INR 35.5 crore and Essar Services Private Limited to deposit with the Prothonotary and Senior Master an amount of INR 47.41 crores within eight weeks; optionally, a bank guarantee of any nationalised bank for the entire amount along with all interest earned thereon could be furnished.
AM/NS India sought a deposit of INR 35.81 crore as security for their claim in arbitration. This was a refundable security deposit payable to it under a Business Centre Agreement dated September 17, 2018. AM/NS India also sought a deposit of INR 47.41 crore as refundable security deposit payable upon termination of a Support Services Agreement dated 15th May 2014 with Essar Services India Private Limited
The petitions were filed by AM/NS India as urgent protective interim order pre-arbitration under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996. Both sides agreed to a reference of their disputes to the sole arbitration of Soli Cooper, a senior advocate of the high court.
A spokesperson for the Essar group said “The matter is subjudice and therefore we can’t comment. We are exploring all available options including appealing to a higher court in this matter.”