Uttarakhand Purv Sainik Kalyan Nigam v. Northern Coal Field Ltd,
27 November 2019
FACTS OF THE CASE:
Both the parties enter into an agreement on 21st December 2010, in which the petitioner was to provide security to the date 27th November 2019. The problems arose between the two parties concerning the payment of amounts under the contract by the Respondent that is the Company, and the deduction of the security amount from the running bills. The petitioner (contractor) issued a legal notice demanding payment of the amount along with interest from the company. The petitioner on 9th March 2016 issued a notice of arbitration wanting the respondent company to nominate a sole Arbitrator according to the terms and conditions in the arbitration clause in the contract they both have entered. But the company did not respond to the notice issued by the petitioner. Further, the petitioner again sent a notice dated 30 May 2016 suggesting the name of Mr. Jai Singh who is a retired Additional District Judge as a sole arbitrator yet again the respondent did not respond to the notice.
The petitioner on 20th September 2016 filed an application in the High Court, under Section 11 which gives the High Court the power to make the appointment of a sole arbitrator.
The High court held that the claims of the Petitioner(contractor) were barred by limitation and therefore a sole arbitrator cannot be appointed by the High Court under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Dissatisfied by the decision of the court the petitioner filed a Special Leave Petition.
ISSUE OF THE CASE:
The issue which arose before the court was whether the High Court was justified in rejecting the application filed under Section 11 for reference to arbitration, on the ground that it was barred by limitation.
JUDGMENT OF THE CASE:
It was decided by the Supreme Court to set aside the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court on 11th January 2018, and direct that the issue of limitation be decided by the arbitral tribunal. Further, with the mutual consent of counsel of both the parties the court-appointed Mr. A. M. Sapre, former Judge of this Court, as the Sole Arbitrator, under Section 12 of the 1996 Act (as amended) concerning the independence and impartiality of the arbitrator, and the ability to devote sufficient time to complete the arbitration within the period specified by Section 29A of the 1996 Act. It was also decided that the arbitrator is, at liberty to conduct the proceedings at a convenient venue as per the convenience of the arbitrator and the parties if so required and the Arbitrator will be paid fees following the 4th Schedule of the 1996 Act. Both parties will share the costs of the arbitration equally.
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.