At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ABDUL QUDDHOSE
For the Petitioner: S. Kingston Jerold, Advocate. For the Respondents: C.T. Ramesh, Addl. Govt. Pleader.
(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Certiorari, to call for the records in connection with the letter of termination of contract dated 27.07.2022 in Ref.PAHCL/AROMA /2022 issued by the 2nd respondent in respect of restaurant at Mersea and quash the same as illegal and improper.)
1. This writ petition has been filed challenging the letter of termination of contract dated 27.07.2022 issued by the 2nd respondent in respect of restaurant at Mersea.
2. Heard Mr.S. Kingston Jerold, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr.C.T. Ramesh, learned Additional Government Pleader for the respondents.
3. The petitioner had entered into a contract on 20.11.2020, after becoming the successful bidder with the 2nd respondent and as per the said contract, he was allowed to run a restaurant at Mersea. The contract has been terminated under the impugned letter of termination of contract dated 27.07.2022 issued by the 2nd respondent on the ground that the petitioner has committed breach of contract and a sum of Rs.37,53,345/- is due and payable by them to the 2nd respondent.
4. Admittedly under the contract dated 20.11.2020, there is an arbitration agreement. The petitioner also does not dispute the same but instead of approaching the Arbitral Tribunal or the Court under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, the petitioner has approached this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, which is not maintainable. The petitioner contends that the equipments of the petitioner are still lying in the 2nd respondent's restaurant and according to them arbitrarily and illegally in violation of the terms of the contract, the 2nd respondent has terminated the contract. The same is disputed by the learned Additional Government Pleader appearing for the respondents on instructions.
5. This Court is not expressing any opinion on the merits of the respective contentions.
6. The learned counsel for the petitioner would now submit that the petitioner is willing to approach the Arbitral Tribunal or the Court as the case may be seeking for the protection as sought for in this writ petition, with regard to the termination of the contract dated 27.07.2022. However, he seeks one week's time for approaching either the Arbitral Tribunal or to approach the Court under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act seeking for interim protection pending disposal of the Arbitral Proceedings.
7. After giving due consideration to the rival submissions and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the respective contentions, this Court is of the considered view that no prejudice will be caused, if the respondents are directed not to take any co-ercive steps against the petitioner only for a period of one week from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and it is made clear that no further extension shall be granted by this Court. This protection is given only to enable the petitioner to approach either the Arbitral Tribunal or the Court as the case may be seeking for the interim protection pending disposal of the Arbitral proceedings.
8. For the foregoing reasons, this writ petition is dismissed as the same is not maintai
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nable in view of the Arbtiration agreement existing between the parties to the dispute. However for a period of one week from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, the second respondent shall not take any coercive steps against the petitioner pursuant to the impugned order dated 27.07.2022. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.