Dsc Ventures Pvt Ltd. V. Ministry Of Road Transport
On 8 May 2003 both the petitioner and respondent entered into an agreement of concession. This agreement involved an arbitration clause stating that in case a dispute arises in the future a three-member panel of the arbitral tribunal will be formed only if an attempt to resolve the dispute has failed. The clause involved that this arbitral tribunal will contain one arbitrator appointed by the petitioner, another arbitrator appointed by the respondent, and a third arbitrator who will be appointed by both the arbitrators. The petitioner and respondent failed to settle the dispute among themselves and both the parties appointed arbitrators. The petitioner appointed an arbitrator on 18 May 2010 and the respondent appointed an arbitrator on 22 April 2014. The petitioner appointed Mr. B.P. Bhattacharya was their arbitrator and the respondent appointed Mr. S.C. Sharma as their arbitrator. Both the respective arbitrators appointed a presiding arbitrator, G. Sharan on 30 May 2014. The arbitral tribunal commenced hearing on 30 June 2014. Statement of Claim was filed by the petitioner on August 25, 2014. Following that the Statement of Defence was filed by the respondent on 14 January. Due to medical reasons Mr. B.P. Bhattacharya resigned from the position of the arbitrator and Mr. N.K. Mody was appointed as an arbitrator. The cross-examination was done by 2nd April 2018 and arguments of both the parties were done by 12th April 2019.
Prior to the declaration of the arbitral award of the respondent, Mr. S.C. Sharma passes away. Mr. G. Sharan and Justice N.K. Mody told the respondent to appoint an arbitrator. The respondent had a period of thirty days to appoint an arbitrator, when this time of thirty days expired the petitioner approached the court to request the court to appoint an arbitrator under Article 11(6). Mr. Manoj Kumar was appointed as an arbitrator by the respondent on 8 June 2020
Whether a party can appoint an arbitrator after the expiry of 30 days from the date of demand appoint an arbitrator?
The court observed that the respondent appointed an arbitrator after the expiry of the period of thirty days as per Section 11(6) of the Act. The court noted that the petitioner filed an application after the expiry of thirty days under section 11(6). Thus, it was held that the appointment of the arbitrator was valid. The court ruled that it cannot be said that the right was forfeited post the expiry of the period of 30 days from the date of demand.
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