VEDANTA ASKS COURT TO REJECT ZCCM-IH’S REQUEST FOR APPEAL

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By CHINTU MALAMBO

VEDANTA Resources Holdings Limited has asked the Lusaka High Court to reject ZCCM-IH’s application for leave to appeal the court’s decision to halt the winding up proceedings of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).

In the main matter ZCCM-IH has asked the Lusaka High Court for an order that KCM be wound up for among other allegations, evading tax and for being insolvent.

Vedanta, the holding firm, asked the court to refer parties to arbitration in accordance with the Stakeholders Agreement in an event of a dispute.

On August 7, 2019, Ms Justice Banda-Bobo refused to refer parties to arbitration saying, it was not arbitrable.

Dissatisfied with Ms Justice Banda-Bobo’s refusal, Vedanta appealed to the Court of Appeal and asked to stay the proceedings, pending the determination of the appeal.

On August 27, 2019, Ms Justice Banda-Bobo despite holding a view that Vedanta’s appeal had no prospects to succeed, using her discretion, stayed the winding up petition.

Last week, ZCCM-IH applied for leave to appeal the court’s impromptu halting of the winging up proceedings of KCM, pending Vedanta’s appeal to the Court of Appeal against Ms Justice Banda-Bobo’s refusal to refer parties to arbitration.

ZCCM-IH argued that the court erred in facts and in law to grant the stay of the winding up proceedings, pending the determination of the appeal despite making a finding that the Contributor’s appeal lacked any chances of success. But Vedanta in its affidavit in opposition to ZCCM-IH’s request argued that the court had discretion to grant or not grant leave to appeal.

It however stated that the court was limited in certain instances in which it can exercise that discretion and the case at hand was one of them where the court could not grant leave to appeal.

“It is settled in this jurisdiction that a party cannot appeal from an order staying proceedings before it.

 “Your Ladyship, is evidently clear from the ratio of the Supreme Court that when proceedings have been stayed without any reservations as is in the case before you, no further action or steps can be take in those proceedings until the happening of the event for which the proceedings were stayed,” argued Vedanta.

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