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Objections Against Enforcement Of Foreign Arbitral Award Can't Be Filed In A Piecemeal Manner: Delhi High Court Imposes 1 Lakh Cost

Suhavi Arya
9 Feb 2022 1:40 PM GMT
Objections Against Enforcement Of Foreign Arbitral Award Cant Be Filed In A Piecemeal Manner: Delhi High Court Imposes 1 Lakh Cost
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The Delhi High Court has held that a Judgement Debtor cannot be permitted under Section 48 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, to file its objections against enforcement of an arbitral award in a piecemeal manner. Justice Vibhu Bakhru held,"The respondent cannot file its opposition in a piecemeal manner. It is seen that the present petition was filed in the year 2018 and...

The Delhi High Court has held that a Judgement Debtor cannot be permitted under Section 48 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, to file its objections against enforcement of an arbitral award in a piecemeal manner.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru held,

"The respondent cannot file its opposition in a piecemeal manner. It is seen that the present petition was filed in the year 2018 and has been pending since. Sufficient opportunity was granted to the respondent to file its objections, however, the respondent has limited its objection only on the ground of territorial jurisdiction of this Court."

The respondent after completing his arguments regarding maintainability of the execution petition had submitted that in the event the Court finds that the petition is maintainable, the respondent should be given an opportunity to file its objection on merits.

The Bench took strong exception to this submission.

It referred to the case of LMJ International Limited v. Sleepwell Industries Company Limited, where the Top Court had held that Court is expected to consider both the aspects of maintainability and enforceability of the arbitral award simultaneously, at the threshold.

The respondent sought to place reliance on Shristi Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited v. Rishima SA Investments LLC (Mauritius) & Anr. and submitted that the question of filing further objections under Section 48 of the A&C Act would only arise after the Court has decided the issue regarding territorial jurisdiction to enforce an award under Section 47 of the A&C Act.

However, the Court rejected this contention stating,
"In that case, the Supreme Court had directed that the stage of filing of information in Form 16A be deferred after the Court had taken a decision regarding the jurisdiction to enforce the award. This was merely a direction to defer the stage of furnishing the list of assets against which an award could be enforced. The same is not an authority for the proposition that a party opposing enforcement of an award is entitled to file objections in multiple stages."
Nevertheless, the Court allowed the respondent's request in the interest of justice, subject to payment of Rs. 1 lakh cost to be deposited with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee

Respondent NCCIHL was represented by Dr Amit George and Mr Jai Sahai Endlaw. Senior Advoate, Mr Nakul Dewan was instructed on behalf of NCCIHL.

Petitioner TAQA India was represented by Trilegal lawyers, Mr Ketan Gaur, Ms Anuradha Agnihotri, Ms Manasa Sundaram and Mr Mohanakrishna. Trilegal instructed Senior Advocate, Mr Ashish Dholakia.

Case Title: TAQA India Power Ventures Private Limited and Ors. vs NCC Infrastructure Holdings Limited, OMP (EFA) (Comm.) 1/2018

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 106

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