Proddatur Cable TV Digi Services v. Siti Cable Network Limited, 2020.
Court: Delhi High Court
Coram: Justice Jyoti Singh
Date of Judgement: 20th January 2020
Petitioner: Proddatur Cable Tv Digi Services
Respondent: Siti Cable Network Limited
The subject matter of the Case: Section 12, 13, 14, and 15 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
Facts of the Case:
- The petitioner and respondent entered into a Distribution Agreement on 3rd August 2015. The distribution agreement included a dispute resolution clause as per which arbitration was to be resorted to incase a dispute arises. In a matter of time disputes regarding the amount of money due to Praddatur Cable TV Digi Services by Siti Cable Network, Limited arose. The parties initially attempted to settle the conflicts amicably but failing at the same, resorted to invoking the arbitration clause of the distribution agreement.
- The petitioner nominated an arbitrator but the respondent disagreed to the same stating that as per the distribution agreement, they have the right to unilaterally appoint an arbitrator. Relying on the right granted to the respondent by the distribution agreement, the respondent appointed an arbitrator unilaterally and the arbitral proceedings began.
- On 26th November 2019, as the proceedings were underway, the Supreme Court in the case of Perkins Eastman Architects D. P. C. & Anr. v. H. S. C. C. (India) Ltd. delivered a judgment wherein it held that parties interested in a dispute, including the arbitrating parties are not eligible to unilaterally appoint an arbitrator.
- The petitioner contended that the mandate of the present arbitrator stands terminated de jure and requested the present arbitrator to not proceed with the arbitration hearings since the facts of Perkins Eastman Architects D. P. C. & Anr. v. H. S. C. C. (India) Ltd. are similar to the case at hand. The present arbitrator rejected the request and stated that she would continue with the arbitral proceedings unless and until a judicial order to terminate the same was granted.
- The present petition is filed by the petitioner under Section 14 and Section 15 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 seeking that the mandate of the arbitrator appointed by the respondent stands terminated and another arbitrator must be appointed.
Issues of the Case:
- Whether a party can unilaterally appoint a sole arbitrator?
- Whether the judgment delivered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Perkins Eastman Architects D. P. C. & Anr. v. H. S. C. C. (India) Ltd. will be applicable to on-going arbitration proceedings.
The judgment of the Case:
The Supreme Court held that the prohibition of unilaterally appointing sole arbitrators placed via the Perkins case will be applicable to on-going arbitral proceedings as well. The Court terminated the mandate of the present arbitrator and stated that another arbitrator must be appointed.
This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being.