Calcutta High Court holds that Indian courts may grant antiarbitration injunctions against foreign-seated arbitrations
Balasore Alloys Limited (“Plaintiff”), an Indian company, and Medima LLC (“Defendant”), a US company, entered into an exclusive arrangement in 2017 for distribution and sale by the Defendant of goods manufactured by the Plaintiff. A retrospectively applicable “Agency Agreement”, which was an umbrella agreement, was executed in 2018 (“Agreement”). It was governed by English laws and provided for arbitration under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) in London. However, individual sale and purchase contracts issued under the Agreement from time to time required the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) to apply and Kolkata was designated as the seat of arbitration. Disputes arose between the parties and ICC arbitration proceedings were initiated by the Defendant. The Plaintiff moved the Calcutta High Court (“Court”) seeking an injunction against the ICC proceedings since it sought to rely on the arbitration agreement in the purchase orders for a domestic arbitration. The matter was heard at the ad-interim stage.
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