BANGLADESH AIR SERVICE (PVT) LTD. Vs. BRITISH AIRWAYS PLC
SUPREME COURT OF BANGLADESH
Bangladesh Air Service (Pvt) Ltd.
British Airways PLC
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MUSTAFA KAMAL,J -
(1.) What started as a limited question of law in this appeal by leave by the opposite party-appellant from the judgment and order dated 8-2-96 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court Division making the Rule absolute in Civil Revision No. 3934 of 1994 concerning whether the Court in England or the Court in Bangladesh has jurisdiction over an arbitration in terms of an Agreement between the appellant and the respondent, fanned its wings, thanks to the intervention of some other lawyers present in Court, into issues of wider dimensions, namely, how and in what manner the proper law of contract in a given case is to be construed, whether a foreign arbitral award is enforceable in Bangladesh, whether the Agreement is opposed to public policy and so on.
(2.) Yet, the facts and issues of the case are simple, but unique in nature. The respondent British Airways PLC of Heathrow Airport, London is a worldwide Airline company. By an Agreement dated 18-4-1980 signed at Dhaka the appellant Bangladesh Air Services (Pvt) Ltd, a company incorporated in Bangladesh, was appointed as General Sales Agent (GSA) of the respondent initially for the District of Sylhet, later extended to the Districts of Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Noakhali and Comilla by a letter of amendment signed and executed between the parties, also at Dhaka, on 31-3-83. Two clauses of the Agreement dated 18-4-80 are the all important clauses interpretation of which is the bone of contention between the parties. The first one, Clause 14, runs as follows:
ArbitrationAny difference or dispute concerning the scope, meaning, construction or effect of this Agreement, or any matter or thing contained therein or related hereto, shall he referred to Arbitration in accordance with, and subject to, the provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1950. The arbitral award shall be final and conclusively binding upon the parties.
(3.) The second disputed clause, Clause 23, reads as follows:
Jurisdiction:This Agreement shall be interpreted in all respects in accordance with the Law of England.;
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