It will, however, continue to arbitrate its case against Zee before the Singapore tribunal, pursuing its right to terminate the merger pact, to claim a termination fee of $90 million and to seek other reliefs.
This decision by the Singapore tribunal is “only a procedural one, ruling only as to whether Zee would be permitted to pursue its application with the NCLT”, said Sony, adding that it will “continue to vigorously arbitrate the matter in Singapore in front of a full tribunal”. Sony’s application in Singapore was filed under the emergency arbitration procedure, in which a single bench is appointed to hear applications for urgent relief prior to the constitution of the tribunal. Now, the matter will be heard by a full bench.
Singapore denied Sony’s interim relief as it lacked jurisdiction to restrain Zee from approaching NCLT-Mumbai. Sony had requested Singapore to prevent Zee from seeking remedies from NCLT-Mumbai or other Indian courts until the arbitration proceedings are concluded.
NCLT currently has two petitions before it: one by Zee and the other by a Zee shareholder, Mad Men Film Ventures. Both want Sony to honour its merger obligations. The Mumbai tribunal has admitted Mad Men’s plea, while it will take up Zee’s petition on Tuesday. It has directed Sony to file its reply to Mad Men’s petition before March 12.