High Court of Chhattisgarh: In a recent judgment, a Single Bench of Prashant Kumar Mishra, J. reiterated the principle that when an “exclusive jurisdiction clause is available in a contract/agreement, the jurisdiction of Courts and Tribunals at other places have been excluded and the places mentioned in the agreement/contract will only have the jurisdiction over the matter.”

The dispute revolved around the timely completion of work in a turn key contract entered between the parties. The petitioner filed a case with Respondent No. 2 seeking refund of performance security. The respondent objected the jurisdiction on the ground that as per the exclusive jurisdiction clause the valid forum was Jaipur however the case was filed and decided in Raipur.

The High Court followed the judgment in Swastik Gases Private Limited v. Indian Oil Corporation Limited, (2013) 9 SCC 32 wherein the Supreme Court noted that for the construction of jurisdiction clause, the maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius comes into play as there is nothing to indicate to the contrary. This maxim means that expression of one is the exclusion of another.

The High Court allowed the writ petition and quashed the order pronounced by Respondent No. 2. [Zuberi Engineering Company v. M/s M P Tar Products,  2017 SCC OnLine Chh 578, order pronounced on 17.05.2017]

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