UNION OF INDIA Vs. ULTRA TECH CEMENT
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
UNION OF INDIA
Ultra Tech Cement
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Soumen Sen, J. -
(1.) This appeal arises out of judgment and order dated 11th September 2018 in W.P. No. 1166 of 2013 (along with G.A. No. 3181 of 2015), by which the learned Single Judge allowed the writ petition and held that the grievances of the petitioner could be proceeded with under this Court's writ jurisdiction as opposed to having the parties referred to arbitration.
(2.) The predecessor-in-interest of the writ petitioner had entered into a licensing agreement with the Railways, on 13th April 1994 and 7th April 2005, to occupy a godown/shed on a land owned by the Railways upon payment of licence fees. After a demerger and a change in name, the rights and liabilities under the licencing agreement passed down to the petitioner.
(3.) Two clauses in this agreement are relevant to the present dispute. Clause 4 of the agreement states that the petitioner shall be liable to pay occupational charges, even those made with a retrospective effect, as and when called upon by the Railways to do so. Clause 19(a) of the agreement provided for a reference to arbitration of all disputes that arose between the parties in connection with the agreement. The relevant portions of Clause 4 and Clause 19(a) is reproduced below -
"Clause 4: That the licensee shall pay the above occupation charges regularly in advance for each year for which the occupation charges is due. The occupation charges is subject to revision at the discretion of the licenser and if and when so reviewed, the licensee shall remain liable to pay with retrospective effect such occupation charges and/or licence fee and Municipal Tax as and when the Licenser calls upon the licensee to make the payment at the revise rate.
Clause 19(a): In the event of any question or difference or dispute arising under these conditions or in connection with the agreement (except as to any matters, the decision of which is specifically provided for in these conditions), the matter in dispute shall be referred to the Arbitrator for decision." (emphasis added);
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