KG basin dispute:SC appoints ex-Australian judge as arbitrator

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The Supreme Court today appointed Michael Hudson McHugh, former judge of the High Court of Australia, as the third arbitrator to resolve the dispute between the Centre and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on KG basin.

Hudson McHugh, ex-judge of Australia's highest court was named as the Chairman of the Arbitral Tribunal as the apex court had on April 2 withdrawn the appointment of James Spigelman, ex-Chief Justice and LG of New South Wales, Australia.

Spigelman's appointment was withdrawn after the Centre drew the attention of Justice S S Nijjar that his name was mentioned in the list of names proposed by the Reliance group for appointment as an independent arbitrator.

Justice Nijjar had on March 31 passed an order on the issue of appointment of independent arbitrator as the Chairman of the Arbitral Tribunal whose two other members are former Chief Justices of India -- S P Bharucha and V N Khare.

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

The Supreme Court decided to appoint an international arbitrator as the Chairman for adjudication of dispute between Reliance Industries Ltd and the government over recovery of cost for developing the country's key natural gas field in KG basin.

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