Scope of interference by HC under Art. 227 of Constitution of India: Can an interlocutory order of a Commercial Court be challenged in High Court? Del HC explains

Delhi High Court: Amit Bansal, J., decided under whether the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India can interfere in the decision of the Commercial Court or not.

Instant petition was filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India impugning the order passed by the Commercial Court in Arbitration Petition whereby the application for condonation of delay in refiling the Section 34 petition on behalf of the respondents had been allowed subject to costs.

Why did petitioners approach this Court?

Sole Arbitrator had passed an award while partly allowing the claims of the petitioner and dismissed the counterclaims of the respondents. After a year, respondents filed a petition under Section 34 of the A&C Act against the said award and refiled the petition on various dates.

Further, on each filing, certain defects cropped up.

Thereafter, the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Courts below was increased, and the respondents filed a Section 34 petition before the Court of District Judge, and the Commercial Court allowed the application for condonation of delay in filing the Section 34 petition and imposed costs.

On being aggrieved by the findings of the Commercial Court, petitioners approached this Court.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court referred to Section 8 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 on which the respondents counsel placed reliance.

“8. Bar against revision application or petition against an interlocutory order.—Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no civil revision application or petition shall be entertained against any interlocutory order of a Commercial Court, including an order on the issue of jurisdiction, and any such challenge, subject to the provisions of section 13, shall be raised only in an appeal against the decree of the Commercial Court.” 

Bench stated that the observations of the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court in Black Diamond Track Parts (P) Ltd. v. Black Diamond Motors (P) Ltd.,2021 SCC OnLine Del 3946 are fully applicable in the facts and circumstances of the present matter.

High Court noted that the scope of interference by this Court in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India were extremely narrow and limited only in respect of orders that were patently lacking inherent jurisdiction. Present case was not the one where the impugned order was passed by the Commercial Court without inherent jurisdiction.

Court stated that even though there may be some merit in the contentions raised by the petitioners with regard to the non est filing, that cannot be a ground for this Court to exercise jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India and interfere with the decision of the Commercial Court.

If the above would be done, it would completely frustrate the objective behind the Commercial Courts Act, that commercial matters should be decided expeditiously and parties may not challenge interlocutory orders passed in the proceedings, except those which were specifically appealable.

Hence, no ground for interference by this Court was made out. [Ashok Kumar Puri v. S. Suncon Realtors (P) Ltd., 2021 SCC OnLine Del 5220, decided on 10-12-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioners:

Mr Ajay Kapur, Sr. Advocate with Mr Harshbir Singh Kohli and Ms Mahima Dang, Advocates

For the Respondents:

Mr Amit Khemka, Mr Rishi Sehgal and Mr Midhun Aggarwal, Advocates

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