Setback for Pakistan in Reko Diq case

TCC has filed an appeal against the High Court of Justice order in the BVI Court of Appeal, as per the latest updates….reports Asian Lite News

The strength of Pakistan’s claim of success in the Reko Diq mines case might just be fading out as the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) has challenged the ruling of a British Virgin Islands (BVI) court, which had allowed Pakistan to retain its assets, which were attached in connection to the case for the settlement of a $6 billion award.

TCC has filed an appeal against the High Court of Justice order in the BVI Court of Appeal, as per the latest updates.

Earlier, TCC had sought attachment of Pakistan’s assets for the enforcement of the $6 billion award that was given by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 12, 2019. The award was slapped on Pakistan for revoking a contract for mining at Reko Diq in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

On December 10, 2020, the BVI High Court had attached the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and the Scribe Hotel in Paris to enforce the award. Both the hotels were owned by Pakistan’s flag carrier airline Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

However, the same court later changed its order and ruled that PIA could retain its two assets, a news that was celebrated in Pakistan as a victory in the case.

As per the BVI ruling, TCC’s plea was not only rejected, but a fine of $5 million along with a $50,000 penalty was also imposed on the company.

“The BVI Court ruled that it has no jurisdiction, and the all ex-parte orders obtained by the TCC were based on an incorrect reading of law,” said a senior member of Pakistan’s Ministry of Law.

The rejection of the TCC plea also came because Pakistan has already initiated the process for the annulment of the $6 billion award in the Reko Diq case, a decision on which is awaited.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s legal experts say that the probability to have the $6 billion penalty annulled has certainly come as a booster for the country, which is already suffering from an economic crisis.

The international arbitration tribunal of the ICSID had slapped a $6 billion penalty on Pakistan on July 12, 2019, for a decision taken in 2011 to deny a mining lease for the Reko Diq project to the TCC.

Pakistan was ordered to pay over $4 billion in damages and $1.7 billion in pre-award interest to TCC, after it was found that Pakistan reportedly took an unlawful decision to deny TCC a lease to mine copper and gold deposits at the Reko Diq mine.

While Pakistan’s leverage given by the court and chances of annulment of the $6 billion award will be a great booster for the country’s economy, TCC’s latest appeal may just ruin Islamabad’s success claims and further hurt its crippling and worsening economic crisis.

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