LEARONAL Vs. R B BUSINESS PROMOTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
R.B.BUSINESS PROMOTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED
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(2.)The respondents have filed a suit seeking relief of permanent injunction and for rendition of accounts. Therein the appellants filed an application under section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter 'the Act' for short) seeking a direction referring the parties to arbitration on the ground that there existed between the parties an arbitration agreement according to which the disputes raised by the respondents before the court were not available for adjudication except by being referred for arbitration. It was submitted that there was a technology transfer agreement (TTA) dated 20th May, 1995 which contained an arbitration clause and by reference to the letter dated 5th May, 1998 written by the appellant no. 1 to the respondents, the same agreement became applicable to the parties. The application under section 8 of the Act was rejected by the learned judge of Delhi High Court (original side). The defendants in the suit have filed this appeal by special leave.
(3.)During the course of hearing it was pointed out by the learned counsel for the respondents that the arbitration agreement relied on by the appellants was for an international arbitration, and therefore, the appellants ought to have invoked section 45 of the Act and not section 8. This legal position was not disputed by the learned counsel for the appellants very fairly, and in our opinion, rightly. For two reasons, we are of the opinion that the impugned order dated 27.4.2001 of the Delhi High Court deserves to be set aside and the matter is remitted for the consideration of the High court. Firstly, the parties, and consequently the High Court, have be laboured under misapprehension as to the correct provision of law applicable. The statutory provision which is attracted to the facts on which the relief claimed by the appellants is founded, is section 45 of the Act and the scope of power exercised by the judicial authority under section 45 of the Act is not identical with that under section 8 of the act. Secondly, the appellants have placed forceful reliance on a document dated 14.5.1998 which purports to be a letter written by respondent no. 2 to the appellant no. 1 and which has been filed in this Court by the respondents herein, was not filed by the appellants before the High court, and in any case, it was certainly not available for the consideration of the High Court when the learned judges disposed of the application under section 8 of the Act filed by the appellants.
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