Realty developer Niranjan Hiranandani Thursday said an Isle of Man court has granted him a stay from holding any further proceedings in a case filed against him by a London-listed investment fund till such time another court adjudicates on the matter.
Hiranandani had told the court in his appeal Nov 24 that since arbitration proceedings were on in Singapore, initiating of legal proceedings by Hirco in the Isle of Man was not proper in terms of jurisdiction.
Accordingly, he had sought an extension of the stay granted by the Isle of Man Appellate Court on further proceedings in the matter, pending its disposal by the Privy Council. The Isle of Man Appellate Court has effectively accepted extension of the stay, as per a copy of the court order.
The matter pertains to some investments made by Hirco Plc, which is also registered in the Isle of Man, in some real estate projects in India, which they claimed is controlled by the Hiranandani Group, notably in Chennai and Panvel.
Hirco claimed damages on the ground that the timeline for completion of the projects as mentioned by Hiranandani and others at the time of their making the investments were "not proper" and that they suffered losses because of the same.
But the Indian realtor argued that as the result of the global economic meltdown of 2008, both projects got delayed and it was not possible for his group to have foreseen such a situation in 2007.
"Offers from our side, which could have sorted out the issues relating to both projects, did not receive a positive response from Hirco. While arbitration proceedings were on in Singapore, Hirco filed legal proceedings in the Isle of Man," the realtor's statement said.
Hiranandani, in turn, questioned if the Isle of Man court had bona fide jurisdiction to hear the matter. An appeal was also filed before the Privy Council. He argued that if the case were to be pursued anywhere other than Singapore, then India would be the right forum.
The court, while granting an extension of stay, said: "If any appeal on this ground is successful then the Isle of Man proceedings will be, in the short term, of little practical relevance."
The court also said ordinary costs incurred by Hiranandani on his appeal of Nov 24 should be paid by the respondents, but declined to assign any indemnity costs, saying the present circumstances did not demand such an action.