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M/s Simplex Infrastructures Ltd., Through its Director, Kolkata v/s The State of Manipur, Represented by the Chief Secretary/Commissioner (Works), Government of Manipur & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- SIMPLEX INFRASTRUCTURES LIMITED [Active] CIN = L45209WB1924PLC004969

Company & Directors' Information:- C K INFRASTRUCTURES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70200DL1997PLC089706

Company & Directors' Information:- D B INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U04520MP2006PTC018493

Company & Directors' Information:- R S INFRASTRUCTURES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201PB1997PLC020316

Company & Directors' Information:- K R INFRASTRUCTURES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U73100TG1992PLC013995

Company & Directors' Information:- I M B INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102DL2009PTC195079

Company & Directors' Information:- Y K M INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45202CH2006PTC029960

Company & Directors' Information:- R 3 INFRASTRUCTURES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400DL2014PLC268953

Company & Directors' Information:- P G M INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01119AP2007PTC054326

Company & Directors' Information:- N H INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45209CH2010PTC032243

Company & Directors' Information:- Y D INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102UP2009PTC037603

Company & Directors' Information:- C 4 INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201MH2013PTC242843

Company & Directors' Information:- B S V R INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45209TG2009PTC064901

Company & Directors' Information:- V AND K INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200TG2001PTC036581

Company & Directors' Information:- J L INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200TN2008PTC066965

Company & Directors' Information:- T & C INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70102TG2008PTC060995

Company & Directors' Information:- U R C INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200TG2008PTC058894

Company & Directors' Information:- R V A INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102UP2013PTC056289

Company & Directors' Information:- S R G INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74110DL2005PTC134967

Company & Directors' Information:- S R G INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101DL2005PTC134967

Company & Directors' Information:- N. C. R. INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400UP2008PTC034623

Company & Directors' Information:- P T INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL2007PTC159635

Company & Directors' Information:- S. L. INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45203PB2007PTC031300

Company & Directors' Information:- V C H INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U45203KL2011PTC028762

Company & Directors' Information:- P A INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45208TN2009PTC071929

Company & Directors' Information:- A E K INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45309TN2009PTC071702

Company & Directors' Information:- K G N INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74200DL2007PTC167982

Company & Directors' Information:- M A M INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109KA2012PTC062160

Company & Directors' Information:- KOLKATA INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70109WB2011PTC158248

Company & Directors' Information:- P N INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201OR2010PTC012647

Company & Directors' Information:- R S INFRASTRUCTURES INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45206TN2013PTC091533

Company & Directors' Information:- J S K INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200MH2005PTC156097

Company & Directors' Information:- S A INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400WB2013PTC192691

Company & Directors' Information:- L & W INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200DL2008PTC182372

Company & Directors' Information:- K R R INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70102TG2008PTC061194

Company & Directors' Information:- INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U45200JH2007PTC012792

Company & Directors' Information:- S AND A INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45206UR2012PTC000345

Company & Directors' Information:- J & K INFRASTRUCTURES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U40101JK2009PLC003034

Company & Directors' Information:- V. J. S. INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999UP2008PTC035636

Company & Directors' Information:- K R M INFRASTRUCTURES (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45209TG2011PTC073850

Company & Directors' Information:- W M I KOLKATA PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74900WB1966PTC026798

Company & Directors' Information:- M D INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201CH2001PTC024224

Company & Directors' Information:- V K INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400UP2008PTC034415

Company & Directors' Information:- K Y INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201DL2004PTC127815

Company & Directors' Information:- A K C INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200KL2010PTC025716

Company & Directors' Information:- D N D INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45203PN2008PTC133243

Company & Directors' Information:- G V R INFRASTRUCTURES INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45209AP2008PTC059504

Company & Directors' Information:- K & K INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74120KA2006PTC040900

Company & Directors' Information:- A & G INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U31900PB2012PTC036358

Company & Directors' Information:- Y R INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201RJ2015PTC047298

Company & Directors' Information:- U D INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400MH2010PTC203382

Company & Directors' Information:- J W INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74120MH2015PTC268554

Company & Directors' Information:- G AND G INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45200MH2004PTC147316

Company & Directors' Information:- J D WORKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2011PTC211791

Company & Directors' Information:- A. N. Y. INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45206MH2013PTC243735

Company & Directors' Information:- J V S M S INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45200TG2010PTC070371

Company & Directors' Information:- K S V V INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45209TG2010PTC069359

Company & Directors' Information:- A V R INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400DL2009PTC186399

Company & Directors' Information:- S M WORKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400DL2014PTC270403

Company & Directors' Information:- A P S INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70109DL2013PTC248564

Company & Directors' Information:- R R INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109DL2006PTC150324

Company & Directors' Information:- S D P INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45200HR2013PTC048666

Company & Directors' Information:- B P K INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45203KA2009PTC049331

Company & Directors' Information:- T M R INFRASTRUCTURES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400TG2007PTC054647

Company & Directors' Information:- M P WORKS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U22219WB1950PTC018702

Company & Directors' Information:- SIMPLEX (INDIA) LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1946PTC005414

    ARB. P. (J2) No. 4 of 2020

    Decided On, 19 March 2021

    At, High Court of Manipur

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. SANJAY KUMAR

    For the Petitioner: S.D. Singh, Tayenjam Momo, Advocates. For the Respondents: Lenin Hijam, Addl. A.G.



Judgment Text

[1] By way of this petition filed under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter , ‘the Act of 1996’), read with Section 10 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, the petitioner company seeks appointment of a competent arbitrator to resolve its disputes with the State of Manipur and its Public Works Department.[2] The petitioner company entered into an agreement on 03.01.2006 with the State of Manipur for designing and constructing the Capital Complex (Assembly Component) at Chingmeirong, Imphal. Clause 29 of this agreement provided for resolution of all questions and disputes arising out of or in relation to the said agreement through arbitration by a person appointed by the Chief Engineer/Additional Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department, Manipur. This eventuality having occurred, the petitioner company addressed arbitration notice dated 19.05.2020 to the Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, Government of Manipur, in relation to quantified claims to the tune of Rs.6,292.25 lakh. Despite receipt of thearbitration notice, the State remain unmoved. Hence, this petition.[3] In its replies to this petition, the Public Works Department of the State, speaking through its Executive Engineer, admitted the existence of the arbitration agreement. It however asserted that it should be permitted to appoint an arbitrator, in terms of the aforestated clause in the agreement dated 03.01.2006.[4] Heard Mr. S.D. Singh, learned counsel for the petitioner company, and Mr. Lenin Hijam, learned Additional Advocate General, Manipur, appearing for the respondents.[5] Given the consensus between the parties as to the existence of an arbitration agreement, the only point that remains for consideration is whether the Chief Engineer/Additional Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department of the State can presently assert the right to unilaterally appoint an arbitrator.[6] It may be noted that the Act of 1996 was amended by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment Act), 2015, (Act 3 of 2016), with retrospective effect from 23.10.2015. Thereby, Section 12(5) was inserted in the statute and it provided that, notwithstanding any prior agreement to the contrary, any person whose relationship with the parties or counsel or the subject matter of the dispute fell under any of the categories specified in the 7th Schedule shall be ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator. Category 5 in the 7th Schedule of the Act of 1996 comprises a manager, director or part of the management or a person who has a similar controlling influence in an affiliate of one of the parties, if the affiliate is directly involved in the matter in dispute in the arbitration. Category 12 of the 7th Schedule speaks of a manager, director or part of the management or someone who has a similar controlling influence in one of the parties. Category 13 of the 7th Schedule speaks of a person who has a significant financial interest in one of the parties or the outcome of the case. It is therefore clear that, after the aforestated changes, the arbitrator cannot be an internal arbitrator from within the organization or someone who has direct links with it or the matter in dispute.[7] While so, the question, presently, is whether an external arbitrator can be unilaterally appointed by one of the parties to the dispute after the above referred amendments under Act 3 of 2016. The respondents assert such right by virtue of the arbitration clause in the agreement dated 03.01.2006. However, this issue is no longer res integra. The decision of the Supreme Court in Perkins Eastman Architects DPC and another Vs. HSCC (India) Ltd. [AIR 2020 SC 59] turned upon this very aspect and settled it in clear and comprehensive terms. The edict laid down in this decision may be summed up thus: There are two categories of cases - (1) where the head of the institution is himself named as the arbitrator with an additional power to appoint any other person as an arbitrator; and (2)where the head of the institution is not to act as an arbitrator himself but is authorized to appoint another person of his choice or discretion as an arbitrator. In its earlier decision in TRF Limited Vs. Energo Engineering Projects Ltd. [(2017)8 SCC 377], the Supreme Court had held that the head of the institution is incompetent to act as an arbitrator after the amendment of the Act of 1996 by Act 3 of 2016.This was based on the logic that the head of the institution would have an interest in the outcome or result of the dispute. Continuing this line of thought in Perkins Eastman Architects DPC(supra), the Supreme Court observed that if that be the test, similar invalidity would arise even in a case falling in the second category. The Supreme Court pointed out that if the interest that the head of the institution had in the outcome of the dispute is taken to be the basis for the possibility of bias, it would always be present irrespective of whether the case fell within the first or the second category and a person who has an interest in the outcome or decision of the dispute must not have the power to appoint a sole arbitrator. In the light of this settled legal position, it is not open to the Chief Engineer/Additional Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department of the State to assert any right under the arbitration clause to unilaterally appoint an arbitrator. Be it noted that the amendment of the Act of 1996 by Act 3 of 2016 is to override any prior agreement to the contrary.[8] Mr. Lenin Hijam, learned Additional Advocate General, Manipur, would further contend that there are serious objections regarding the tenability of the claims raised by the petitioner company. In so far as this argument is concerned, in Uttarakhand Purv Sainik Kalyan Nigam Limited Vs. Northern Coal Field Limited [(2020) 2 SCC 455], the Supreme Court made it clear that after the insertion of Section 11(6-A) in the Act of 1996, by way of Act 3 of 2016, the Court dealing with an application under Section 11(6) of the Act of 1996 should confine itself only to examination of the existence of an arbitration agreement and no more. All other preliminary/threshold issues are to be left to be decided by the arbitrator, including his/her own jurisdiction. That being so, the Public Works Department of the State would be at liberty to raise all such issues before the arbitrator and this Court cannot go into the tenability or otherwise of the peti

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tioner company’s claims at this stage.[9] Making this position clear and leaving all issues open, this arbitration petition is ordered. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Deepak Gupta (Retired), Judge, Supreme Court of India, presently residing at D-1/48, Second Floor, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi – 110057, is appointed as the sole arbitrator to resolve the disputes and differences between the parties, arising out of and/or relating to the agreement dated 03.01.2006, as per the provisions and procedure of the Act of 1996.Registry is directed to forthwith communicate a copy of this order to Hon’ble Mr. Justice Deepak Gupta (Retired), Judge, Supreme Court of India, residing at D-1/48, Second Floor, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi – 110057.
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