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H. Esakkimuthu v/s M/s. Dugar Finance & Investments Ltd., rep. by its Managing Director

    C.R.P.(NPD) No. 216 of 2013 & M.P.No. 1 of 2013

    Decided On, 23 January 2013

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. RAJESWARAN

    For the Petitioner: P.T. Perumal, Advocate. For the Respondent: ------



Judgment Text

(Prayer: This Civil Revision Petition has been filed under Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code to set aside the order dated 26.09.2012 made in I.A.No. 8410 of 2012 in O.S.No. 2965 of 2012 on the file of the V Assistant City Civil Court, Chennai by allowing the revision petition.)

1. This Revision Petition has been filed by the plaintiff in O.S.No. 2965 of 2012. The respondent herein is the defendant in the suit.

2. The parties herein are referred to as per their rankings in the suit for the sake of convenience.

3. O.S.No. 2965 of 2012 has been filed by the plaintiff before the V Assistant City Civil Court, Chennai against the defendant for Mandatory injunction directing the defendant company and its officials to return the original R.C. Book and other documents with account settlement endorsement and No Objection Certificate to the plaintiff in respect of the hire Purchase Account No. 3415 relating to the vehicle bearing No.TN-22-U-4203 and for permanent injunction restraining the defendant company and its officials from selling or transferring the ownership of the said vehicle. An order of injunction was granted by the trial Court on 24.05.2012 in I.A.No. 7663/2012 with a condition directing the plaintiff to deposit a sum of Rs. 48,500/- to the credit of the suit and the same has also been complied with by the plaintiff on 25.05.2012.

4. While so, on 15.06.2012, an application in I.A.No. 8410 of 2012 under Section 8 r/w. Section 5 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, was filed by the defendant invoking the clause 21 in the Hire Purchase Agreement for referring the parties to arbitration. That application was opposed by the plaintiff by filing a counter contending that the term of the hire purchase agreement got expired and consequently the arbitration clause therein could not be invoked. However, the trial Court by order dated 26.09.2012, allowed the application filed by the defendant under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in I.A.No. 8410 of 2012, thereby, referring the parties to arbitration and consequently dismissed the suit. Challenging the said order, the above revision has been filed.

5. I have heard Mr. P.T. Perumal, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and I have also gone through the documents available on record. Since final order is being passed at the admission stage itself, no notice is issued to the respondent herein.

6. Admittedly, the plaintiff filed the suit in O.S.No. 2965 of 2012 seeking for return of the original R.C. book of the vehicle concerned, as according to him, the contract under the hypothecation agreement dated 11.11.2006 got expired on 11.11.2008. Therefore, the respondent company cannot take action as the period of limitation of three years was over on and from 11.11.2008 and it loses its enforceability. Since the vehicle was repossessed beyond the period of three years, the above suit was filed for return of original RC Book and other documents. However, in the above suit in O.S.No. 2965 of 2012, an application under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, was filed by the defendant to refer the parties for arbitration in accordance with the Clause 21 of the agreement of hire purchase. Though it was opposed by the plaintiff by filing a counter, the trial Court in and by a detailed order dated 26.09.2012, after referring to the arbitration clause in the hire purchase agreement entered into between the plaintiff and the defendant on 11.11.2006 and having regard to the nature of dispute raised by the defendant in claiming certain amounts as due from the plaintiff and their refusal to hand over the original R.C. book and other related documents, allowed the application, thereby referred the parties to arbitration and dismissed the suit. It is a trite law that when there is an arbitration clause in the agreement and if any dispute arises between the parties to the agreement in respect of the amount payable under the hire purchase agreement, the same has to be referred to arbitration, even after the expiry of the Hire Purchase agreement. Disregarding that if any party files a suit, the other party can approach the court under Section 8 of the Arbitration Act, 1996 by filing an application in the suit, before filing the written statement to refer the parties to arbitration. Therefore the order passed by the trial court which is impugned herein is in order. The other questions raised by the petitioner herein have been answered by the trial court and there is no infirmity nor illegality in the same, warranting interference.

7. Hence, in my considered opinion, the order passed by the trial Court, in due consideration of the fact and law, does not warrant any interference from this Court a

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nd this revision has no merits. Further, it is reported by the learned counsel for the petitioner that as against the order of dismissal of the suit O.S.No. 2965 of 2012, an appeal has also been filed by the defendant. Therefore, it is open to the petitioner herein/the plaintiff to raise all these issues therein in accordance with law. 8. In the light of the above, I do not fine any merits in the civil revision petition and the same is dismissed. No costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petition is also closed.
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