NORTH EASTERN HANDLOOM Vs. SPORTS STATION INDIA PVT LTD
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
NORTH EASTERN HANDLOOM,AMITAVA MOOKERJEE
SPORTS STATION INDIA PVT. LTD,SPORTS STATION (INDIA) PVT. LTD
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VIKRAMAJIT SEN, J. -
(1.) We have heard learned counsel for the parties in great detail and, therefore, proceed to decide the Appeals on merits.
(2.) A neat question of law has arisen before us in these two Appeals. It pertains to the proper forum for adjudication of disputes, through arbitration, in respect of immovable property at 17, Shakespeare Sarani, Theatre Road, Kolkata-71. The landlady of this property is Mrs. Lila Mookerjee who has constituted her son, Mr. Amitava Mookerjee as her general attorney having allowed him the use of 2200 square feet of 'super area' on the ground and first floor ("shop space" for short). In this capacity Shri Mookerjee had, in May 2000, entered into a Joint Venture Retail Agreement (JVRA) with Sports Station India Pvt. Ltd. (in brief Sports Station) the Respondent in both Appeals, the salient clauses/terms for the present controversy are that possession of the shop space was handed over to Sports Station and that the latter could further appoint its franchisee for "Nike" products. For this arrangement the consideration was Rs.1,70,000/- or 8%(5% in respect of reduction/clearance sales) payable by Sports Station to Mr. Mookerjee. The JVRA is for a period of nine years with renewal options, but is terminable by Mr. Mookerjee if Sports Station commits a material breach of its terms. Clause 38 is the Arbitration Agreement which specifies, inter alia, that arbitration proceedings would be held in Calcutta, and that Calcutta Courts would have jurisdiction. In fact, considerable litigation between these two parties has already commenced and is pending.
(3.) The second Agreement dated 29-4-2003 is between Sports Station and North Eastern Handloom and Handicrafts (hereinafter 'North Eastern'). By its terms Sports Station is liable to pay the rent of the premises, the Ground Floor (showroom) of which are to be used for as a showroom and the First Floor (stockroom) for storage of stock. North Eastern has contracted to act as the Management Agent of Sports Station on commission basis; sales would be effected at prices determinable by Sports Station. This Agreement was to be co-terminus with the 'Lease Agreement' [reference obviously being to the JVRA]. Clause 17 is the Arbitration Agreement between Sports Station and North Eastern, inter alia stipulating that arbitration proceedings shall be held in New Delhi and nowhere else and that Courts in Delhi shall have exclusive jurisdiction over disputes between these two parties.;
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