NJ Constrution Vs. Ayursundra Health Care Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (07 Feb 2018)
Where more than one court has jurisdiction, it is open for parties to exclude all other Courts
The Respondent No. 1 floated a notice inviting tender for the civil and electrical work of Super Specialty Hospital, wherein several bids were invited. The hospital was to be constructed at Guwahati. The Petitioner also participated and was awarded the said work order at the mutually agreed amount. The LOI was issued by Respondent No. 1 for the said work.
An Article of Agreement was entered into containing the special conditions of the Contract, Specifications and Schedules of quantities with the rates entered therein forming part of the agreement/LOI. It is alleged by the Petitioner that Respondent did not pay the complete advance mobilization money despite request even after five months from the date of the execution of the agreement. The Petitioner kept on doing the work and sending the bills. There was some dispute qua payments. Receiving no response, the Petitioner sent a legal notice for appointment of arbitrator. The main dispute is if arbitrator at Delhi is to be appointed or the courts at Guwahati shall have the jurisdiction.
In Indus Mobile Distribution Pvt. Ltd. V. Datawind Innovation Pvt. Ltd., it was held that it is well settled that where more than one court has jurisdiction, it is open for parties to exclude all other Courts. In CVS Insurance and Investments v. Vipul IT Infrasoft Pvt. Ltd., the Court held that, (a) there shall be only one seat of arbitration though venues may be different; (b) where the arbitration seat is fixed (may be neutral), only such court shall have an exclusive jurisdiction; (c) where a seat/place of arbitration is fixed it is section 20(1) and section 20(2) of the Act we are referring to; and (d) venue relates to convenience of parties, per section 20(3) of the Act.
In the circumstances, since the seat of the arbitration is at New Delhi, a neutral venue, only such Court shall have jurisdiction to decide. Hence, petition is allowed and Retired Judge is appointed as an Arbitrator to arbitrate the dispute between the parties. The arbitration proceedings shall be conducted under the aegis of DIAC. The fee of the learned Arbitrator is as per the fee schedule of the DIAC.
Relevant : Indus Mobile Distribution Private Limited vs. Datawind Innovations Private Limited and Ors. MANU/SC/0456/2017, CVS Insurance and Investments v. Vipul IT Infrasoft Pvt. Ltd. MANU/DE/5065/2017
Tags : JURISDICTION SEAT DETERMINATION