Application under S. 11 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 not an application before a court as understood under S. 42 within the meaning of S. 2(1)(e)

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court allowed a petition under Section 29-A(5) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, (hereinafter, the ‘Act’), seeking extension of time for making of the arbitral award by the Tribunal.

The respondents argued that since the Arbitral Tribunal had been constituted on an application under Section 11 of the Act filed before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the present petition would be outside the jurisdiction of this Court in view of Section 42 of the Act. To this argument, the Court relied on the Supreme Court judgment in the case of State of West Bengal v. Associated Contractors, (2015) 1 SCC 32  to reiterate that applications under Section 11 do not per se count as an application before a Court as to be understood by the language of Section 42, within the meaning of Section 2(1)(e) of the Act. Hence, it was held that the Court, which otherwise has jurisdiction is competent to entertain the petition. Establishing it’s jurisdiction, the Court reiterated the judgment in the Supreme Court case of Indus Mobile Distribution Pvt. Ltd. v. Datawind Innovations Pvt. Ltd., (2017) 7 SCC 678, wherein it was held that the seat of arbitration, which was Delhi in the instant case, would dictate the Court of exclusive jurisdiction.

The Court observed that no submissions were made by the respondent against extension of time and also, in the opinion of the Court, the time for making of award deserved to be extended. The period of time for making of award was extended by a period of six months. Petition allowed. [Raheja Developers Ltd. v. Proto Developers and Technologies Ltd, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 6966, decided on 30.01.2018]

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