The Bombay High Court constrained Dhanera Diamonds from estranging or discarding its assets for six weeks in an appeal lodged by Motilal Oswal Financial Services to recuperate its dues from the commodity trader. Motilal Oswal had agitated court to secure Rs 80.74 crore from Dhanera Diamonds against the settlement obligations for trades in crude oil contracts, mapped to Nymex futures, which closed on a negative mark on April 20 because of a glut—meaning sellers had to pay buyers to take the commodity off their hands. The brokerage constituted arbitration proceedings and sought interim relief from the court to prevent Dhanera from discarding off assets. The court enquired the commodity trader to reveal its assets through an affidavit. A single-judge bench comprising Justice SC Gupte notified that there is a prima facie case for citing the case for arbitration. As such, the court must permit protection to the brokerage till an arbitral tribunal is comprised by the MCX .
The court ordered the brokerage to access the arbitration tribunal constituted by MCX within six weeks. The counsel for Dhanera Diamonds disputed that negative price of crude oil futures was not even heard of. No question would arise as the closing price was determined on the grounds of Nymex future prices after the closing hours of commodity trading in India. Therefore, the brokerage must make an assertion against the commodity exchange, Dhanera Diamonds debated. These altercations must be made before the arbitral tribunal that will transfer to the merits of the case, as the high court contended in the order. A separate writ petition filed by Motilal Oswal and a commercial suit filed by Dhanera Diamonds is also unsettled before the Bombay High Court. Senior Counsel Birendra Saraf presented on behalf of the brokerage and V Sridharan represented Dhanera Diamonds.
(BY- VASUNDHARA DHAR)