SUMITOM CORPORATION Vs. PUNJAB TRACTORS PVT. LTD. AND OTHERS
LAWS(DLH)-2007-2-239
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Decided on February 21,2007

Sumitom Corporation Appellant
VERSUS
Punjab Tractors Pvt. Ltd. And Others Respondents

JUDGEMENT

H.R. Malhotra, J. - (1.) This appeal is directed against the impugned order dated September 26, 2006, rendered by the Company Law Board, New Delhi, declining the prayer of respondent No. 1 seeking reference of the matters to the arbitration in terms of arbitration clause contained in Japan Commercial Arbitration Association. The said application was filed by respondent No. 1 under section 45 of the Arbitration and. Conciliation Act, 1996, which met rejection.
(2.) Feeling aggrieved, respondent No. I has filed the present appeal assailing the impugned order.
(3.) Pursuant to the issuance of notice, respondent No. 1 appeared through his counsel and took objection at the first instance relating to the territorial jurisdiction of this court on the ground, inter alia, that the appeal in the present form was not maintainable as there is a specific provision under the Companies Act, namely section 10F of the Companies Act which provides that appeal lies to the High Court having jurisdiction in relation to the place at which the registered office of the company concerned was situated. According to the respondent, since the registered office of the appellant-company was situated in Mohali (Punjab), therefore, under section 10(l)(a), appeal should have been preferred in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and not in this court. He stated so on the strength of the judgment rendered in Stridewell Leathers P. Ltd. v. Bhankerpur Simbhaoli Beverages P. Ltd., [1994] 179 Comp Cas 139: AIR 1994 SC 158 , where the apex court while interpreting section 10F observed as under (headnote of AIR 1994 SC 158): "The expression 'the High Court' in section 10F means the High Court having jurisdiction in relation to the place at which the registered office of the company concerned is situate as indicated by section 2(11) read with section 10(12)(a) of the Act. Accordingly, in the instant case, the appeal against the order of the Company Law Board would lie in the Madras High Court which has jurisdiction in relation to the place at which the registered office of the company concerned is situate and not the Delhi High Court merely because the order was made by the Company Law Board at Delhi." On the other hand, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellant while refuting the arguments of learned senior counsel for the respondent urged that section 10F of the companies Act would not be attracted in the present set of facts of this case as section 10F of the Companies Act is restricted to the appeals passed by the Company Law Board in exercise of the powers under the Companies Act and since seeking reference to arbitration was not a relief sought under the Companies Act, but under section 45 of the Arbitration Act, therefore, section 50 of the Arbitration Act would come into play and as such this court is fully empowered to entertain this appeal. He supported his contention with the aid of a judgment rendered by Division Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court titled as Hind Samachar Ltd., In re and Smt. Suderslmn Chopra v. Vijay Kumar Chopra, [2003] 117 Comp Cas 660 (P & H): [2002] 4 Comp LJ 1 . It is further urged that the impugned order passed by the Company Law Board was in the capacity of a judicial authority under the Arbitration Act and, therefore, the same was liable to be challenged only under section 50 of the Arbitration Act which provision specifically deals with the filing of an appeal against the order "refusing to refer the parties to arbitration under section 45 of the Arbitration Act".;


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