Prasar Bharati V. M/S Stracon India Limited on 13 July, 2020[i]
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The BCCI and the appellant entered into a Broadcasting Licence Agreement was whereby the appellant was granted exclusive and full rights and licenses to telecast cricketing events worldwide comprising of Domestic matches and International matches played in India. The appellant entered into an agreement with the respondents on 19th February 2000 where the respondents were granted exclusive global marketing rights, multi-media rights, and other rights relating to the broadcast of cricketing events conducted in India by the BCCI for the period between 1st January 2000 and 30th September 2004. The total consideration paid by the respondents to the appellant for these rights was USD 43.75 million.
Disputes arose between the parties under the Agreement. It is the case of the respondents that the appellant was to provide a minimum of 9 cricket series and a minimum of 27 days of International cricket in each cricketing season (September-April) that would be telecast live and the same number of highlights of at least one hour each for each day of the matches. The disputes pertain to non-delivery of two series, namely, India vs Pakistan that was to be conducted between February 2004 and March 2004 and India vs Australia, to be conducted between September 2004 and October 2004. While the India-Pakistan series originally scheduled for February-March 2004 was canceled, the India-Australia match originally scheduled for September 2004, was played but after the expiry of the agreement between the parties.
Claiming that during the currency of the Agreement, there was a shortfall of 17 days on the part of the appellant, in providing cricketing days under the Agreement, the respondents demanded a sum of USD 5.50 million from the appellant. The parties submitted themselves to arbitration. The Sole Arbitrator passed an award on December 26th 2016, allowing the claim of the respondents. Under the Award, it was held that the respondents are entitled to US$ 5,509,259/- from the appellant. The respondents were granted interest at 18% per annum on the amount awarded, from October 19 2005 till the date of the award. The respondents were also awarded costs of Rs.35,50,000/-. The appellant challenged the award by filing a petition under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (in short, 'A&C Act'), on the Original Side of this court, numbered as O.M.P (COMM) 225/2017. The respondents filed a petition, registered as OMP (ENF) (COMM) 232/2018 for enforcing the said award.
By the impugned order, the learned Single Judge has held that the appellant is entitled to recovery of only a sum of Rs. 22,43,55,126/- from the respondents herein under the three awards and therefore it would be appropriate to withhold a sum of Rs.22,43,55,126/- out of the sum of Rs.33,69,94,847/-. Resultantly, the learned Single Judge has ordered the Registry to release a sum of Rs. 11 crores in favour of the respondents.
ISSUE OF THE CASE:
The issue in this case was whether the present appeal is maintainable under Section 13 of the Commercial Courts Act.
JUDGMENT OF THE CASE:
The court held that under Section 37 of the Arbitration Act, no appeal is maintainable from any order passed under Section 36 of the Arbitration Act. Hence, the present appeal filed under Section 13 of the Commercial Courts Act, was not maintainable.
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.