Investment Pacts Can't Be Subject to Foreign Jurisdictions: FM

Toronto: Finance Minister P Chidambaram has made it clear that any bilateral investment protection agreement has to be subject to jurisdiction of domestic legal institutions and India will not allow it to be subjected to foreign courts or tribunals.

"We cannot allow highest court of the land to be subjected to any foreign courts or tribunals," Chidambaram said during a question answer session at a breakfast meeting organised by the Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC).

"Will you allow the Supreme Court of Canada be subject to jurisdiction of any other court or tribunal?" Chidambaram asked the audience.

The Minister was answering a question from Peter Sutherland, President and CEO of the Canada-India Business Council, who wanted to know the status of bilateral FIPPA treaty.

The Minister said, "We have put Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) on hold not only for Canada but other 83 countries too because of two major legal issues: namely right of a foreign investor to sue a sovereign State in a commercial dispute, and jurisdiction. All agreements are under review."

However, he assured the audience that both the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and FIPPA would become a realty soon.

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Source: PTI