GRID CORPORATION OF ORISSA LIMITED Vs. AES CORPORATION
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
GRID CORPORATION OF ORISSA
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(1.)This is a petition under S. 11(6) and S. 14 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter 'the Act', for short) filed on 11-2-2002. The principal relief sought for in the petition is :- "appoint the third and presiding arbitrator to constitute the arbitral tribunal to adjudicate upon the disputes and differences between the parties."
(2.)Let it be stated at the very outset that a conjoint petition under S. 11(6) and S. 14 of the Act would not lie for the simple reason that the petition under S. 11(6) is to be heard and decided by the Chief Justice or any person or institution designated by him a petition under S. 14 of the Act lies to the Court. With the decision of the Constitution Bench in Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. and Anr. v. Rani Construction Pvt. Ltd. (2002) 2 SCC 388, it is settled that the Chief Justice or his designate does not discharge any judicial function under S. 11(6). The Chief Justice or his designate, though a Judge, does not sit as a Court. The two fora, contemplated by S. 11(6) and S. 14(2) are different, and therefore, no single forum can grant such reliefs as are contemplated by the two provisions.
(3.)The facts in brief. The petitioners and the respondents entered into a shareholders agreement dated 31st August 1999 which contains an arbitration clause. The relevant clauses of the agreement are as under :-
"28.2 This agreement shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with Indian law and, subject to clauses 28.3 and 28.4, the parties hereby irrevocably submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate Courts in Orissa.
28.3 Any dispute, question or difference arising between GRIDCO (Petitioner) and the Investors (respondents 1 and 2) in connection with this agreement or otherwise in regard to the relationship of the parties pursuant to the terms of this agreement, including the construction and scope of the agreement, shall be first referred to the Chief Executives (by whatever name called) of the Investors and GRIDCO not by way of arbitration but with a view to amicably resolving the issue by discussions and conciliation.
28.4 All and any disputes or differences arising out of or in connection with this agreement, which cannot be resolved in accordance with Clause 28.3 or the breach, termination or invalidity of this Agreement shall be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The number of arbitrators shall be three.
28.5 The place of the arbitration shall be Bhubaneswar, Orissa and the language of the arbitral proceedings shall be English."
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