ELSIE FELIX Vs. LARSEN AND TOUBRO LIMITED
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
LARSEN AND TOUBRO LTD
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KOSHY, J. -
(1.) The question to be considered in these appeals is regarding the quantum of court-fees payable when an appeal is filed against an order passed under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as "the 1996 Act") in setting aside or refusing to set aside an arbitral award.
(2.) When court-fee was calculated under Schedule II, Article 4(c) of the Kerala Court- fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as "the Court-fees Act"), in the unnumbered appeal as Rs. 97,447/- (1/3 court-fee of Rs. 32,483/- was paid at the time of filing), objection was raised by the Registry. When the very same order was challenged by another appellant in Arbitration Appeal No. 10 of 2003, court-fee paid was only Rs. 250/- as according to the registry court-fee payable is under Schedule II, Article 3(iii)(A)(l)(a) in view of the decision reported in Sundaram Finance Ltd. v. Radhamma, 2003 (3) KLT 289. The Registry also took the objection in the unnumbered appeal that two appeals should have been filed as it was a common order. Before dealing with the above question. We shall briefly state the facts of the case.
(3.) An arbitration award was passed and the first respondent in the appeals, Larson and Toubro Ltd. filed an application to set aside the award under Section 34 of the Act. C party filed a petition to modify the award. The civil Court set aside the award allowing the application filed by the first respondent and dismissed the petition filed by C party. The C party filed two appeals, one of which is Arbitration Appeal No. 10 of 2003 and "A" party filed the unnumbered appeal against the order passed by the Additional District Court, Ernakulam in O.P. No. 51 of 2002 setting aside the award. It is submitted that since they are not aggrieved by the increase in compensation requested by C party, they are not interested in challenging the order passed in O.P. No. 117 of 2002, even though it was a common order. Therefore, one appeal alone need be filed against an order setting aside the award. They are prepared to take the risk of filing one appeal. Therefore, the question to be considered is regarding the court fees payable in filing an appeal against an order setting aside the arbitral award.;
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