SIMPLEX PROJECTS LTD Vs. STATE OF MANIPUR
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
Simplex Projects Ltd
STATE OF MANIPUR
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RAMALINGAM SUDHAKAR,J. -
(1.) Mr. S.D. Singh, learned counsel appears for the petitioner. Mr. R.K. Umakanta, learned Government Advocate states that he will appear on behalf of the State in all the cases and assist Mr. N. Kumarjit, learned Advocate General in all these matters.
(2.) There is preliminary objection raised by the State referring to Section 9 read with Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. It is pleaded that the High court of Manipur does not have original jurisdiction. Therefore, the arbitration petitions are not maintainable.
A. Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 reads as follows:-
"9. Interim measures, etc., by Court." "(1) A party may, before or during arbitral proceedings or at any time after the making of the arbitral award but before it is enforced in accordance with section 36, apply to a court:-
(i) for the appointment of a guardian for a minor or a person of unsound mind for the purposes of arbitral proceedings; or
(ii) for an interim measure of protection in respect of any of the following matters, namely:" "
(a) the preservation, interim custody or sale of any goods which are the subject-matter of the arbitration agreement;
(b) securing the amount in dispute in the arbitration;
(c) the detention, preservation or inspection of any property or thing which is the subject-matter of the dispute in arbitration, or as to which any question may arise therein and authorising for any of the aforesaid purposes any person to enter upon any land or building in the possession of any party, or authorising any samples to be taken or any observation to be made, or experiment to be tried, which may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of obtaining full information or evidence;
(d) interim injunction or the appointment of a receiver;
(e) such other interim measure of protection as may appear to the court to be just and convenient, and the Court shall have the same power for making orders as it has for the purpose of, and in relation to, any proceedings before it.
(2) Where, before the commencement of the arbitral proceedings, a Court passes an order for any interim measure of protection under sub-section (1), the arbitral proceedings shall be commenced within a period of ninety days from the date of such order or within such further time as the Court may determine.
(3) Once the arbitral tribunal has been constituted, the Court shall not entertain an application under sub-section (1), unless the Court finds the circumstances exist which may not render the remedy provided under section 17 efficacious.
B. Section 2(1) (e) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 reads as follows :
(i) in the case of an arbitration other than international commercial arbitration, the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district, and includes the High Court in exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction having jurisdiction to decide the questions forming the subject-matter of the arbitration if the same had been the subject-matter of a suit, but does not include any Civil Court of a grade inferior to such Principal Civil Court, or any Court of Small Causes;
(ii) in the case of international commercial arbitration, the High Court in exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction, having jurisdiction to decide the questions forming the subject-matter of the arbitration if the same had been the subject-matter of a suit, and in other cases, a High Court having jurisdiction to hear appeals from decrees of Courts subordinate to that High Court.
(3.) Learned counsel for the State refers to APPENDIX - 15 of the High Court of Manipur Rules, 2019, which provides only for appointment of Arbitrator by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Manipur, and not for entertaining an application under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation act, 1996. He pleaded that this High Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition as it is not a Court within the meaning of Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. In this regard, it will be useful to refer to Appendix-15 of the High Court of Manipur Rules, 2019 which is as follows:-
APPENDIX - 15
APPOINTMENT OF ARBITRATOR BY THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR SCHEME, 2019
THE HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR AT IMPHAL
In exercise of the powers conferred on the Chief Justice of the High Court of Manipur under sub-Section (10) of Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, I hereby make the following scheme :
1. Short title: This scheme may be called the Appointment of Arbitrators by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Manipur Scheme, 2019." ;
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