OIL AND NATURAL GAS CORPORATION LTD. Vs. SWAPAN KUMAR PAUL
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
OIL AND NATURAL GAS CORPORATION LTD.
SWAPAN KUMAR PAUL
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(1.)The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC for short) appellant in Arbitration Appeal No.3 of 2019 has filed this petition in terms of Order 47, Rule 1, CPC seeking review of the judgment and order dtd. 22/6/2022 passed by this Court in Arbitration Appeal No.3 of 2019.
(2.)Heard Mr. D.K. Biswas, learned senior advocate appearing along with Mr. G.K. Nama, learned advocate for the petitioner(s). Also heard Mr. Raju Datta learned advocate appearing along with Mr. Kundan Pandey, advocate for the respondent(s).
(3.)The perspective facts which are relevant for appreciation of the challenge, briefly stated, are as under:
The review petitioner (appellant in Arbitration Appeal No.3 of 2019) filed an application under Sec. 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Arbitration Act for short) before the learned District Judge, West Tripura, Agartala for setting aside the arbitral award dtd. 29/3/2010 passed by the sole Arbitrator. The said application came to be registered as Civil Misc. (Arbitration) 18 of 2018 before the learned District Judge, West Tripura at Agartala. The following facts were brought to the notice of the learned District Judge by filing the said application under Sec. 34 of the Arbitration Act:
(i) Different types of vehicles including car, taxi, hard top ambulance, non-AC TATA Indigo LX etc were hired by the review-petitioner from respondent Sri Swapan Kumar Paul under 04 different contracts which were executed between the review-petitioner and said Sri Swapan Kumar Paul on different dates. Contract No.9010014028 was executed on 16/3/2011, contract No. 9010014069 was executed on 22/3/2011, contract No.9010016874 was executed on 7/12/2012 and contract No.9010018962 was executed on 18/12/2013. Other than the hard top ambulance and the emergency vehicles, all other vehicles were hired by the review-petitioner for carrying out duty for 12 hours per day and the hard top ambulance and all other emergency vehicles were hired for performing duty for 24 hours per day.
(ii) In terms of the contracts executed between the parties, the respondent placed his vehicles at the disposal of the review-petitioner within the stipulated time. Log books were maintained for each of the vehicles to record the kms/distance run by the vehicle. The respondent had asserted in his claim statement before the arbitrator that the review-petitioner often used to keep many of the hired vehicles off the road without assigning any duty to those vehicles. This apart, the review-petitioner in breach of the contract, used to keep the vehicles out of duty without any advance intimation to the respondent which caused huge loss to the respondent. When the respondent raised bills claiming the hiring charges, the review-petitioner arbitrarily reduced the bill amount on the ground that excess kms was recorded in the log books. The review-petitioner arbitrarily reduced the kms in the log book without consulting the claimant and refused to sanction the bill amount. As a result, dispute cropped up between the parties.
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