Decided on July 08,2021

Verdant Projects Appellant
Dipankar Sen Respondents


- (1.)This is an application filed by the petitioner who is the claimant in an arbitration proceedings for appointment of an Arbitrator in place and stead of the learned sole Arbitrator who was earlier appointed by an order of Court dated 2nd July, 2010 in AP No. 144 of 2010.
(2.)Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner places the minutes of the 49th sitting held on 19th March, 2019 which records that the learned Arbitrator tendered his resignation from the proceedings. The reason for such resignation appears to be a letter dated 15th March, 2019 received from the respondents ' advocate seeking replacement of the Arbitrator. Counsel places an order passed by a learned single Judge on 13th January, 2020 in AP No. 43 of 2019 which was an application filed by the respondents for removal of the Arbitrator. The order records the submission made on behalf of the respondents that the application has become infructuous since the Arbitrator has withdrawn from his office. Counsel submits that in view of the Arbitrator having resigned, there is a need to appoint a substitute Arbitrator under Section 15 (2) of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
(3.)The application is opposed by learned counsel appearing for the respondents who submits that the application is not maintainable since the agreement forming the subject matter of the arbitration are insufficiently stamped documents. Counsel submits that a dispute was raised in the arbitration with regard to the assessment of stamp duty which has since been determined by the Collector. The petitioner however has not paid the requisite stamp duty on the documents. It is also submitted that the arbitration can only proceed after the petitioner makes requisite payment of the stamp duty as assessed by the Collector.

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