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Monday June 17, 2024

FBR wins case against international software firm

By our correspondents
August 06, 2016

ISLAMABAD: An international tribunal announced its final award, holding Kuwait based Agility for Public Warehousing Company liable to pay the entire costs incurred by Pakistan in defending a claim for more than $650 million filed against the country by the middle eastern firm.

The tribunal,  taken its decision on August 1 2016,  was constituted under the Rules of Arbitration ofthe International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Washington (ICSID), a statement said 

Agility had been awarded a pilot contract by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in 2003 for customisation of software for purposes of paperless clearance of imports and exports. The company sued Pakistan before ICSID when it did not succeed in procuring a long-term contract from the FBR.

Agility levelled serious allegations against Pakistan and even claimed that its intellectual property rights had been infringed and that it had been strung along till such time as the FBR was able to develop its own software to take over from that developed by Agility.

The FBR on the other hand through its counsel Barrister Farrukh Karim Qureshi of Samdani & Qureshi contradicted the stance adopted by Agility and argued that the company had procured the pilot contract through fraudulent misrepresentations as to its past experience and quality of the software.

Agility had also tried to use political influence to compel the FBR to award to it a long term contract. The case was to be heard by the Arbitral Tribunal in London for ten days beginning on November 13, 2015. However on November 10, 2015 Agility informed the Tribunal that it wished to withdraw its entire claim amounting to more than $650 million.

Pakistan's counsel Qureshi argued that the withdrawal could only be allowed if Agility undertook to pay the entire costs incurred by Pakistan defending a frivolous malicious and baseless claim.

The tribunal agreeing with the position adopted on behalf of Pakistan has ordered Agility to pay the costs and expenses incurred in defending a claim which should never have been brought by Agility against Pakistan before an international forum.