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Supreme Court Disapproves Entertaining Of Writ Petitions For Executing Arbitration Awards Against NHAI: Supreme Court

Ashok KM
24 Aug 2022 12:43 PM GMT
Supreme Court Disapproves Entertaining Of Writ Petitions For Executing Arbitration Awards Against NHAI: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court disapproved the entertaining of writ petitions seeking execution of Arbitration awards passed against National Highways Authority of India."If the High Courts convert itself to the Executing Court and entertain the writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to execute the award passed by the Arbitral...

The Supreme Court disapproved the entertaining of writ petitions seeking execution of Arbitration awards passed against  National Highways Authority of India.

"If the High Courts convert itself to the Executing Court and entertain the writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to execute the award passed by the Arbitral Tribunal/Court, the High Courts would be flooded with the writ petitions to execute awards passed by the learned Arbitrator/Arbitral Tribunal/Arbitral Court.", the bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed.

The court was considering an appeal against a Bombay High Court judgment which had allowed writ petition filed by original land owners and directed the NHAI to deposit the entire compensation amount as awarded by the Arbitrator and thereafter permitting the original land owners  to withdraw the amount.

Before the Apex Court, the NHAI contended that as the award passed by the Arbitrator was executable before the concerned Executing Court and therefore when the original writ petitioners had a statutory remedy available to execute the award by initiating the execution proceedings before the concerned Executing Court, the High Court ought not to have entertained the writ petitions under Article 226 of 5 the Constitution of India to execute the award passed by the  Arbitrator. On the other hand, the land owners contended that as there is no stay of the award passed by the learned Arbitral Tribunal/Court in a proceeding under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act and that NHAI took possession of the land without paying any compensation, the High Court has not committed any error in passing the impugned order.

The bench observed that, by passing the impugned order/directions the High Court has virtually converted itself into Executing Court.

"Therefore, once the original writ petitioner was having an efficacious, alternative remedy to execute the award passed by the learned Arbitral Tribunal/Court, by initiating an appropriate execution proceeding before the competent Executing Court, the High Court ought to have relegated the original writ petitioners to avail the said remedy instead of entertaining the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India which was filed to execute the award passed by the Arbitral Tribunal/Court. If the High Courts convert itself to the Executing Court and entertain the writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to execute the award passed by the Arbitral Tribunal/Court, the High Courts would be flooded with the writ petitions to execute awards passed by the learned Arbitrator/Arbitral Tribunal/Arbitral Court.. We disapprove the entertaining of such writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to execute the award passed by the learned Arbitral Tribunal/Court, without relegating the judgment creditor in whose favour the award is passed to file an execution proceeding before the competent Executing Court."

The bench, however, disposed the appeal by issuing certain directions. The NHAI was directed to deposit 50 per cent of the compensation amount, as awarded by the Arbitral Court, with the Executing Court within a period of four weeks. The said amount shall be released to the land owners unconditionally, it directed.

Case details

National Highways Authority of India vs Sheetal Jaidev Vade | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 705 | CA 5256 of 2022 | 24 August 2022 | Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna

Headnotes

Constitution of India, 1950 ; Article 226 -  Execution of Arbitration awards against NHAI - If the High Courts convert itself to the Executing Court and entertain the writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to execute the award passed by the Arbitral Tribunal/Court, the High Courts would be flooded with the writ petitions to execute awards passed by the learned Arbitrator/Arbitral Tribunal/Arbitral Court - We disapprove the entertaining of such writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to execute the award passed by the learned Arbitral Tribunal/Court, without relegating the judgment creditor in whose favour the award is passed to file an execution proceeding before the competent Executing Court. (Para 6-7)

Click here to Read/Download Judgment




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