OIL AND NATURAL GAS CORPORATION LTD Vs. NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION LTD
LAWS(SC)-2006-11-20
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
Decided on November 07,2006

OIL AND NATURAL GAS CORPORATION LTD. Appellant
VERSUS
NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION LTD. Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

UNION OF INDIA VS. S. PREETHY [LAWS(KER)-2014-2-16] [REFERRED TO]
AIRPORT AUTHORITY OF INDIA VS. ALCON RESORT HOLDINGS PVT LTD [LAWS(BOM)-2009-7-304] [REFERRED TO]
INDERJEET MEHTA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GAU)-2011-7-32] [REFERRED TO]
MEERA TAMRAKAR, W/O LATE RAJKUMAR TAMRAKAR VS. LAKHAN LAL, S/O HAR PRASAD [LAWS(CHH)-2016-5-33] [REFERRED]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)Leave granted.
(2.)Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. is the appellant. Aggrieved by the judgment and order dated 6th/8th December, 2005 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in Appeal No. 321 of 1997 in Arbitration Petition No. 260 of 1996 in Award No. 98 of 1996, this appeal was preferred. The question that falls for determination in this appeal is whether the filing of the award dated 2.3.1996 by M/s Little & Co., advocate for the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (for short "ONGC") in the Court on 23.3.1996 is the deemed notice under Section 14(2) of the Arbitration Act, 1940 and whether the limitation for setting aside the said award at the instance of ONGC shall commence from that date. The appellant is a Public Sector Oil Company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 and engaged in the business of exploration and exploitation of Hydrocarbons. The appellant, ONGC and the respondent M/s Nippon Steel Corporation Ltd. entered into a contract for transportation and installation of fabricated structures of South Basein Platform Complex which was to be located at about 80Kms. west of Bombay in the Arabian Sea. Disputes and difference arose between the parties which were subsequently arbitrated and an award was passed on 2.3.1996 under the Indian Arbitration Act, 1940 which confers statutory jurisdiction on courts of law either to convert a legally valid award into a rule of the Court or set aside/remit the same on the grounds specifically provided for that purpose in the said Act. There is an express and well defined statutory scheme for the same in the Act. A provision of law, Section 14 of the Indian Arbitration Act, 1940, which is relevant for this appeal, reads as under:
"14. Award to be signed and filed :

(1) When the arbitrators or umpire have made their award, they shall sign it and shall give notice in writing to the parties of the making and signing thereof and of the amount of fees and charges payable in respect of the arbitration and award

(2) The arbitrators or umpire shall, at the request of any party to the arbitration agreement or any person claiming under such party or if so directed by the Court and upon payment of the fees and charges due in respect of the arbitration and award and of the costs and charges of filing the award, cause the award or a signed copy of it, together with any depositions and documents which may have been taken and proved before them, to be filed in Court, and the Court shall thereupon give notice to the parties of the filing of the award.

(3) Where the arbitrators or umpire state a special case under Clause (b) of Section 13, the Court, after giving notice to the parties and hearing them, shall pronounce its opinion thereon and such opinion shall be added to, and shall form part of, the award."

(3.)The plain and simple language of the above provision requires firstly that the arbitrators/umpire, as the case may be, shall:
(a) sign the award they make

(b) give notice in writing to the parties of the making and signing of the award

(c) cause the award along with the records be filed in Court Thereupon the Court shall:

(d) give notice to the parties of the filing of the award

(e) if a special case is referred to court, shall pronounce its opinion, after giving notice to the parties and hearing them.

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