Two-tiered Arbitration

The Centrotrade Enforcement Saga Ends on a High Note

The recent judgment of Centrotrade Minerals v. Hindustan Copper[1] had seen two previous rounds of litigation before the Supreme Court finally enforced a foreign award, passed in 2001 after 19 years, in favour of Centrotrade.

Background

The Appellant, Centrotrade, a US company and the Respondent, Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL), an Indian company, entered into a contract under which Centrotrade was required to supply 15,500 DMT of copper concentrate to HCL at Kandla Port in India. Centrotrade supplied the concentrate, but disputes arose over the dry weight of the concentrate supplied.

Two-tiered Arbitration

The arbitration agreement in the contract provided for a two-tiered, arbitration: a first arbitration in India, which could be appealed by the unsatisfied party through a second arbitration to be conducted by ICC in London.

Centrotrade invoked arbitration and in 1999 the Indian arbitration rendered a ‘nil award.’ This award was carried in appeal by Centrotrade to an ICC arbitration in London.
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