Apex court in Australia has admitted plea against Lanco:Perdaman

Apex court in Australia has admitted plea against Lanco:Perdaman

Perdaman has slapped the AUD 3.5 billion (about Rs 16,600 crore) lawsuit alleging that Lanco Infratech is not complying with a 25-year-long coal supply pact for its proposed Collie urea plant in Western Australia.

Stressing that it is ready to supply coal to Collie plant, Lanco Infratech on Sunday said that Perdaman's claims are "baseless".

Lanco had also noted that coal supply is to start only after urea plant comes up in around 2015.

"The Supreme Court (of Western Australia) authorised the service of the writ on the basis of evidence filed in the court by Perdaman and evaluating that evidence to disclose a prima facie cause of action against Lanco," Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd, which is part of Perdaman Industries, said in a statement.

Separately, both Perdaman and Lanco have said they would make no further comments on the issue.

Australia-based Perdaman had entered into the pact with Griffin Coal, which was acquired by Lanco for AUD 730 million in March.

"Lanco has not terminated the coal supply agreement. We are ready to comply with the pact, which is in place.

"(Against this backdrop) Perdaman's claims are baseless and there is no merit in it," Prasad Kandimalla, CEO, who also heads Business Development in power and infrastructure verticals of Lanco Infratech, had said.

According to Perdaman, after authorised by the Supreme Court of Western Australia, it has served the "Supreme Court writ of summons on Lanco on June 6, 2011 at Lanco's head office in Hyderabad".

Prior to obtaining leave from the Supreme Court to serve the writ of summons on Lanco Infratech, Perdaman applied to the Court for an order authorising service out of the jurisdiction, the statement noted.

On Friday, Lanco had said that Perdaman so far has not filed a statement of claim in the Supreme Court, explaining the basis for its claim and "in particular, how it arrived at a damages claim of that amount".

"If those documents are filed then Lanco Infratech will vigorously defend these claims in court," Lanco had noted.

In response, Perdaman today said court rules dictate when statement of claim would be filed and that the company would comply with those rules.

"It is premature, at this stage for Perdaman to disclose the contents of its statement of claim," it added.

The first hearing of the case is expected on July 27.

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