In Pranathmaka Ayurvedics v. Cocosath Health Products, Kerala High Court decides the scope of Commercial Courts in Arbitration matters.
The factual matrix of the present case states the first petitioner as a Company, second petitioner as a Chief Executive Off, icer, and third petitioner as a director of the first petitioner Company. The first respondent is a partnership firm, and the second respondent is a managing partner of the first respondent. The first and the second respondents applied Section 9 of the Arbitration Act in the District Court, Ernakulam, against the petitioners, transferred to the Commercial Court, Ernakulam. The application was allowed in favour of the applicants, the operative portion of which stated; “The respondents are hereby restrained from appointing any persons and/or business establishments as the exclusive global marketer or distributor for the distribution, marketing, or sale of the products of the 1st respondent company and from transferring to any 3rd parties the product know-how or confidential information of the products till Arbitration proceedings are commenced in the case. The parties shall bear their respective costs.”
The present original petition is moved under Article 227, challenging the legality and propriety of the previous judgment.
Court reproduced Section 13 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 (as it stood originally and as amended by the Act of 2018), to clarify that the contention raised by the petitioners that the heading of Section 13 of Commercial Courts Act states, “Appeals from decrees of Commercial Courts and Commercial Divisions” and therefore, an appeal under Section 13(1) of the Act would lie only from a decree or a final judgment passed by a Commercial Court. No request will lie from an order, especially an interlocutory or interim order, passed by a Commercial Court devoid of any merits. Elaborating further, the Court observed, “The first and the primary rule of construction of a statutory provision is that the intention of the legislation must be found in the words used by the legislature itself. It is well settled that the heading given to a Section cannot control the plain words of the provision. The heading of a provision cannot be referred to construe the provision when the words and the language used in the provision are clear and unambiguous. Seeking assistance from the heading of a provision to interpret the provision can be resorted to only in case of ambiguity or doubt, that too, as an aid in construing the provision. The marginal heading cannot control the interpretation of the words of the section particularly when the language of the section is clear and unambiguous.”
Clarifying the scope and application of Section 8 and Section 13 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, in addition to the above observations, the Court refrained from interfering through Article 227 and directed the petitioners to avail the remedy of appeal as provided under the Statute.
 2020 SCC OnLine Ker 5476.
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