Order 27 Rule 5 CPC mandates the Court to ensure disputes concerning public undertakings are resolved amicably; Arbitrator appointed therefor: SC

Supreme Court: A Bench comprising of A.M. Sapre and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ. disposed of an appeal filed against the judgment of the Bombay High Court whereby the petition of the appellant was dismissed.

The appellant was a Government of India undertaking controlled by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. A dispute arose between the appellant and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority in relation to the disposal of 263.57 acres of land owned by the appellant in Pimpri, Pune. The appellant, in order to resolve the dispute, filed a writ petition before the High Court which was dismissed. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant preferred the instant appeal.

The Supreme Court referred to ONGC v. CCE, 1995 Supp (4) SCC 541 and ONGC v. City and Industrial Development Corpn. (Maharashtra) Ltd., (2007) 7 SCC 39 and observed that Order 27 Rule 5 CPC casts a duty on the Court to ensure that such disputes should be resolved amicably. Also, the parties had submitted that they were willing for the matter to be referred to arbitration. Accordingly, the Court appointed Justice R.V. Raveendran (former Judge, Supreme Court) as the sole Arbitrator for settling the dispute between the parties. The appeal was disposed of in the terms above. [Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd. v. MHADA, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1732, decided on 04-10-2018]

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