The Supreme Court has held that an application under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act for appointment of an Arbitrator in relation to disputes with National Highways Authority Of India is not maintainable in view of Section 3G(5) of the National Highways Act, 1956 which provides for such appointment by the Central Government.
The bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and Justice Ajay Rastogi set aside an order passed by the High Court of Calcutta appointing an Arbitrator invoking Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
The bench, in [NHAI vs.Sayedabad Tea Company Ltd.] said that in view of the power being vested exclusively with the Central Government to appoint an Arbitrator under Section 3G(5) of the Act 1956, being a special enactment, the application filed under Section 11(6) of the Act 1996 for appointment of an Arbitrator was not maintainable and provisions of the Act, 1996 could not be invoked for the purpose. The bench said:
In the instant case, the scheme of Act, 1956 being a special law enacted for the purpose and for appointment of an arbitrator by the Central Government under 13 Section 3G(5) of Act, 1956 and sub-section (6) of Section 3G itself clarifies that subject to the provisions of the Act 1956, the provisions of Act 1996 shall apply to every arbitration obviously to the extent where the Act 1956 is silent, the Arbitrator may take recourse in adjudicating the dispute invoking the provisions of Act, 1996 for the limited purpose. But so far as the appointment of an Arbitrator is concerned, the power being exclusively vested with the Central Government as envisaged under sub-section (5) of Section 3G of Act 1956, Section 11 of the Act 1996 has no application.
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