w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



M/s. Suresh Goel & Associates a Proprietorship Concern Havint its Office at C-85, Shivalik, Rep. by its Proprietor, Suresh Goel, New Delhi v/s Indian Institute of Technology Dharwad, Rep. by its Director, Dharwad


Company & Directors' Information:- C P AND ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201DL2001PTC111850

Company & Directors' Information:- C M ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51101CH2010PTC032255

Company & Directors' Information:- G P C TECHNOLOGY LIMITED [Not available for efiling] CIN = L31300DL1980PLC010998

Company & Directors' Information:- R A S ASSOCIATES LTD [Active] CIN = U74210WB1988PLC045492

Company & Directors' Information:- A P S ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74210PB1978PTC003847

Company & Directors' Information:- N S P ASSOCIATES (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1996PTC082177

Company & Directors' Information:- S K N ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1983PTC016634

Company & Directors' Information:- B N T ASSOCIATES LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U17119WB1935PLC008284

Company & Directors' Information:- P V M ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51226DL1987PTC311009

Company & Directors' Information:- P V M ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51226HR1987PTC036321

Company & Directors' Information:- A P ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U72200AS1994PTC004194

Company & Directors' Information:- GOEL & GOEL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29309PB2019PTC050463

Company & Directors' Information:- T R S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2003PTC119643

Company & Directors' Information:- GOEL AND COMPANY LTD [Active] CIN = U67120DL1997PLC090621

Company & Directors' Information:- AT ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51109OR2008PTC009787

Company & Directors' Information:- D C P ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51311DL1987PTC026667

Company & Directors' Information:- A R ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC029533

Company & Directors' Information:- N S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74210DL2002PTC117462

Company & Directors' Information:- A 1 TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72200PB2002PTC035548

Company & Directors' Information:- K V ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U01122PB1986PTC006863

Company & Directors' Information:- K P ASSOCIATES (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB1997PTC085826

Company & Directors' Information:- D V ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201CH2000PTC024072

Company & Directors' Information:- P P ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51228PB1990PTC010014

Company & Directors' Information:- I J ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP and Dissolved] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC032756

Company & Directors' Information:- SHIVALIK PVT LTD [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U45309AS1997PTC005206

Company & Directors' Information:- H S AND ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U55101AS1988PTC002910

Company & Directors' Information:- M P D ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1982PTC013982

Company & Directors' Information:- M S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC038395

Company & Directors' Information:- H K GOEL AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1993PTC055996

Company & Directors' Information:- A B R AND ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101DL2004PTC123935

Company & Directors' Information:- J R N INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80302DL2004PTC127742

Company & Directors' Information:- P S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U31902WB1997PTC084379

Company & Directors' Information:- V S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC068018

Company & Directors' Information:- L S ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74140WB1985PTC039501

Company & Directors' Information:- P. S. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201DL1984PTC018057

Company & Directors' Information:- O & S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74210TN2004PTC053764

Company & Directors' Information:- S A S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1991PTC045528

Company & Directors' Information:- U K E AND ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109OR1995PTC004230

Company & Directors' Information:- P. S. D. S. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1983PTC015217

Company & Directors' Information:- V K ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1983PTC015519

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND A ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Converted to LLP] CIN = U74140PB1989PTC009864

Company & Directors' Information:- S S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1986PTC023665

Company & Directors' Information:- J R S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74120UP2015PTC074074

Company & Directors' Information:- L R ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70101DL1999PTC100897

Company & Directors' Information:- H B ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201AS2003PTC007275

Company & Directors' Information:- M M G ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51397AS2004PTC007526

Company & Directors' Information:- R. S. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51900HR2011PTC042294

Company & Directors' Information:- A. M. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900JK2012PTC003760

Company & Directors' Information:- S A R C ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140DL2010PTC209285

Company & Directors' Information:- K & D TECHNOLOGY COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72500MP2007PTC019697

Company & Directors' Information:- K M ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U55101DL2001PTC110937

Company & Directors' Information:- GOEL ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1980PTC010764

Company & Directors' Information:- G L S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101DL1999PTC102336

Company & Directors' Information:- E K ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52311OR1995PTC003828

Company & Directors' Information:- M AND A ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1993PTC054477

Company & Directors' Information:- R S CONCERN PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403WB2012PTC183656

Company & Directors' Information:- E E I TECHNOLOGY PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31909WB1991PTC053259

Company & Directors' Information:- E M TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74999DL2000PTC105539

Company & Directors' Information:- G R C & ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140OR2015PTC018811

Company & Directors' Information:- 5 I TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900UP2016PTC083186

Company & Directors' Information:- R T & ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74210DL2002PTC115350

Company & Directors' Information:- H R ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200DL2012PTC231105

Company & Directors' Information:- M AND W ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93090KA2004PTC035154

Company & Directors' Information:- M M S ASSOCIATES PVT. LTD. [Not available for efiling] CIN = U74210RJ1995PTC009405

Company & Directors' Information:- S AND A ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC028051

Company & Directors' Information:- D. P. ASSOCIATES PVT. LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U45203OR1993PTC003418

Company & Directors' Information:- GOEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51900MH1973PTC016518

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDIAN CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65993TN1946PTC000988

Company & Directors' Information:- T R J ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC032265

Company & Directors' Information:- K B ASSOCIATES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL1983PLC016142

Company & Directors' Information:- H S & E INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80301KL2011PTC029468

Company & Directors' Information:- H. J. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U51219DL1984PTC017269

Company & Directors' Information:- Y P ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1983PTC053658

Company & Directors' Information:- S L ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1980PTC010620

Company & Directors' Information:- C T ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74910MH1996PTC102599

Company & Directors' Information:- D K D CONCERN PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74140WB1981PTC033285

Company & Directors' Information:- B L G ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U29220DL1981PTC011731

Company & Directors' Information:- R R ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U70101WB1987PTC042757

Company & Directors' Information:- R K ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1980PTC010641

Company & Directors' Information:- K A ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201DL2004PTC128162

Company & Directors' Information:- P & A TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45208OR2011PTC014269

Company & Directors' Information:- SHIVALIK INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U80904UR2011PTC033381

Company & Directors' Information:- M P ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909UP2002PTC026702

Company & Directors' Information:- B R S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900WB2013PTC196599

Company & Directors' Information:- B N R ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70101AS2005PTC007894

Company & Directors' Information:- G M G ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2000PTC108670

Company & Directors' Information:- Q & Q TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900DL2013PTC259002

Company & Directors' Information:- S. J. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45202UP1996PTC021158

Company & Directors' Information:- M M AND ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45101UP1987PTC008758

Company & Directors' Information:- M J ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70101DL1984PTC018559

Company & Directors' Information:- DELHI ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909HR1982PTC014722

Company & Directors' Information:- N K J AND ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201UP2002PTC026767

Company & Directors' Information:- N N ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U25199TN1980PTC008508

Company & Directors' Information:- A J ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC031458

Company & Directors' Information:- B L AND CO NEW DELHI PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1968PTC004910

Company & Directors' Information:- I E TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72900MH2001PTC132315

Company & Directors' Information:- C S AND ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201TZ2005PTC011859

Company & Directors' Information:- K K AND ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900MH2012PTC235376

Company & Directors' Information:- S H A ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45202DL2003PTC120698

Company & Directors' Information:- A D ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74300PB1991PTC011428

Company & Directors' Information:- M V M ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U33111TN1986PTC013191

Company & Directors' Information:- U S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74130DL1981PTC012217

Company & Directors' Information:- R. R. P. & ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74140RJ2014PTC045409

Company & Directors' Information:- I P L TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29290MH2000PTC127550

Company & Directors' Information:- C A A ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400MH2011PTC223468

Company & Directors' Information:- L R ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140MH1992PTC066242

Company & Directors' Information:- G I TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72200MH2005PTC156230

Company & Directors' Information:- M H T TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TN2010PTC077205

Company & Directors' Information:- A R M ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900JK2012PTC003703

Company & Directors' Information:- R A ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U67120CH2003PTC025995

Company & Directors' Information:- D M ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70100CH2004PTC026958

Company & Directors' Information:- K S Q TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72900DL2006PTC154900

Company & Directors' Information:- M M R ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74300DL2001PTC110589

Company & Directors' Information:- S M S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1975PTC007653

Company & Directors' Information:- V D ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC030677

Company & Directors' Information:- M L M AND ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U45201DL1999PTC100090

Company & Directors' Information:- V R ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109DL2013PTC246964

Company & Directors' Information:- N G S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93000DL2009PTC196737

Company & Directors' Information:- NEW DELHI ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93090DL2009PTC192621

Company & Directors' Information:- D B N ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15541DL2003PTC118638

Company & Directors' Information:- A G B ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51393DL2002PTC115685

Company & Directors' Information:- P C TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900DL2015PTC278616

Company & Directors' Information:- G. V. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U67190DL2002PTC118104

Company & Directors' Information:- W E ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140MP2008PTC021080

Company & Directors' Information:- V & P TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72200HR2011PTC044721

Company & Directors' Information:- G G ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93000HR2013PTC050025

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND K ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200GJ2012PTC069296

Company & Directors' Information:- R. H. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29309HR2019PTC079463

Company & Directors' Information:- J. K. ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45203JK1981PTC000505

Company & Directors' Information:- M J ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U00061KA1984PTC005829

Company & Directors' Information:- THE CONCERN PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U23109WB1958PTC023961

Company & Directors' Information:- S AND A ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74300DL1992PTC049422

Company & Directors' Information:- A & A ASSOCIATES PVT LTD [Not available for efiling] CIN = U19111WB1973PTC029043

Company & Directors' Information:- N C A TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72900PB2008PTC031981

Company & Directors' Information:- M G TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72200DL2007PTC172003

Company & Directors' Information:- D & I ASSOCIATES COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74120DL2007PTC166193

Company & Directors' Information:- T & S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32204DL2008PTC177037

Company & Directors' Information:- B M ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45200DL2006PTC155219

Company & Directors' Information:- S C M ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74140OR1989PTC002300

Company & Directors' Information:- I D ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC037213

Company & Directors' Information:- M M S ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74210MH1999PTC119537

    CMP. No. 100006 of 2021

    Decided On, 30 June 2021

    At, High Court of Karnataka Circuit Bench At Dharwad

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P. KRISHNA BHAT

    For the Petitioner: P.B. Appaiah, Shivaraj S. Balloli, Advocates. For the Respondent: Bidan Chandran, Shivasai M. Patil, M.V. Kini, Padmanabha Holla, G. Hanumthareddy, T. Shashidhar, T. Prashantha, C. Ramesh, M.K. Nityananda, Advocates.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: This Petition is filed Under Section 11(5) & (6) read with Section 11 (12)(B) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and paragraph 2 of the appointment of Arbitrators by the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Scheme, 1996, praying to appoint such person as this Hon'ble Court deems fit as the sole arbitrator to adjudicate the disputes that have arisen between the petitioner and Respondent Under Clause 2.4.7 of the General Conditions of contract in the technical bid Section of the contract dated 10.04.2018 entered into by and between the petitioner as at Annexure-A, award to the petitioner the costs of these proceedings, in the interest of justice and equity.)1. This is a petition filed under Section 11(5)(6) and 12(b) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 seeking appointment of sole arbitrator to adjudicate the disputes that have arisen between the petitioner and the respondent under Clause 2.4.7 of the General Conditions of the Contract in the Technical Bid Section of Contract dated 10.4.2018 entered into by and between the petitioner and respondent (Annexure-A).2. Brief facts are that the petitioner who is an architectural and planning firm by name M/s. Suresh Goel & Associates and the respondent-IIT Dharwad entered into a Design Consultancy Contract dated 10.4.2018 pursuant to a letter of Intent dated 5.2.2018. The contract work for the petitioner was to render service of Planning and Design Consultancy for Phase-I of the respondent's New Campus at Dharwad for a contract fee of Rs.10,40,06,125/-. The said agreement contained arbitration clause at Clause 2.4.7 of the contract. During the execution of the contract work, the petitioner raised 1 s t bill dated 10.07.2018 for Rs.20,00,000/-, 2 n d bill dated 16.1.2019 for Rs.1,22,02,990/- and 3 r d bill dated 15.4.2019 for Rs.2,80,07,475/-, which were all paid by the respondent.3. On 4.10.2019, the respondent through its Project Manager-CPWD, uploaded its tender for the construction project of its New Campus, using the approved designs and drawings prepared by the petitioner. Thereafter, the petitioner raised its 4th bill dated 11.10.2019 for Rs.5,04,13,455/- and 5th bill dated 27.1.2020 for Rs.1,81,59,294/- and another bill for additional works dated 8.6.2020 for Rs.2,06,3,556/-. However, the respondent did not make payment towards those three bills and non-payment of the bills is subject matter along with other claims for the proposed arbitration proceedings. The petitioner issued a claim notice dated 7.9.2020 making a detailed presentation on the claims to the respondent. However, the respondent disputed the petitioner's claim by its letter dated 6.1.2020 and refused to make payment. The petitioner issued a letter dated 20.10.2020 to the Secretary, Department of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Government of India, pointing out that an arbitrable dispute has arisen between the parties as the said Secretary was holding office as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) requesting him to appoint sole arbitrator. Thereafter, as per his letter dated 17.11.2020, Sri. Vinayak Chaterjee, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) appointed Sri. Jose Kurian as the Sole Arbitrator. However, the petitioner disagreed with the said appointment by its letter dated 5.12.2020 suggesting the names of three other persons for consideration of the respondent to appoint a sole arbitrator. The respondent issued a letter dated 2.2.2021 directing Sri. Jose Kurian to decide on the petitioner's objection to his appointment and to conduct the arbitration proceedings.4. Sri. P.B. Appaiah, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner vehemently contended before me that the respondent is a party to the dispute and the sole arbitrator is appointed by the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad), he being a party has an interest in the outcome of the proceedings, and therefore, the appointment of sole arbitrator made by him is illegal and liable to be set-aside. In support of his contention, he places reliance on a decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Perkins Eastman Architects DPC and Another Vs. HSCCC (India) Ltd. reported in 2019 SCC Online SC 1517.5. Sri. Bidan Chandran, learned counsel appearing for the respondent equally vehemently contended that the clause 2.4.7 of the contract, which is binding on both the parties, specifically empowers the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) to appoint Sole Arbitrator for adjudicating the arbitrable dispute arising under the contract. He further contended that the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT, Dharwad is the Secretary, Department of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Government of India and he is a senior functionary in the government and therefore, it cannot be construed that he is having actual bias or operational bias and therefore, there is no disqualification attached to any appointment of the sole arbitrator made by him. He further contended that the objection taken by the petitioner for appointment of Sri.Jose Kurian as sole arbitrator is technical in nature and there is nothing pointed out, which would affect the independence or impartiality of the said Sri.Jose Kurian to conduct the arbitration proceedings. In this behalf, he places reliance on a decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of HRD Corporation (Marcus Oil and Chemical Division) Vs. Gail (INDIA) Limited reported in (2018) 12 SCCC 471. He, therefore, submitted that the petition is liable to be dismissed.6. The fact that the Chairman of the Board of Governors of respondent has appointed Sri. Jose Kurian as Sole Arbitrator to adjudicate the dispute arising under the contract between the parties itself shows that there is arbitrable dispute between the parties.7. There is also no dispute between the parties before me about the contract document under which the petitioner has been appointed as Designed Consultant. The clause 2.4.7 which is regarding Dispute Settlement Mechanism, reads as under:"2.4.7 Dispute Settlement Mechanism: Any dispute between the Parties as to matters arising to this Contract which cannot be settled amicably within thirty (30) days after receipt of a notice by one Party, the request for such amicable settlement may be submitted by either Party for settlement in accordance with the following provisions:Any dispute or difference at any time arising between IIT Dh and the Consultant as to the construction, meaning or effect of the Contract or as to any clause, matter or thing herein contained or as to the rights and liabilities of the parties hereto shall be referred to a Sole Arbitrator to be appointed by the Chairman, Board of Governors, IITDh, who shall decide the cause in accordance with the contract provisions and subject to the provisions of the Indian Arbitration & Reconciliation Act, 1996 or any statutory modifications or re-enactment thereto or thereof for the time being in force and all proceedings in any such Arbitration shall be held in Dharwad."8. Purporting to act in exercise of the power under clause 2.4.7, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) has appointed Sri. Jose Kurian as Sole Arbitrator by his letter dated 17.11.2020. The only question that arises for consideration in this petition is, whether an appointment of sole arbitrator made by the Chairman of Board of Governors of respondent in exercise of power under the clause empowering the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) to appoint/nominate the sole arbitrator, falls foul of "independence or impartiality" required of the sole arbitrator so appointed on account of appointing authority being interested in the outcome of the proceedings?9. The assertion of the learned counsel for the respondent is that the clause 2.4.7 empowers the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) to appoint/nominate the sole arbitrator. Even granting that the respondent is vitally interested in the outcome of the proceedings, contends the learned counsel, such disability which might attach to the respondent for making appointment of the sole arbitrator will not attach proprio vigore to the Chairman of the Board of Governors, who is an independent authority himself being ex-officio Chairman of the Board of Governors in his capacity as the Secretary, Department of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Government of India. The submission of the learned counsel for the respondent is that since the Secretary, Department of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Government of India is holding the position of the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad), he is not actually interested in the outcome of the proceedings as he is holding that position only on account of being the Secretary, Department of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Government of India.10. Insofar as the above submission of the learned counsel for the respondent is concerned, it needs to be observed that Sri.Vinayak Chaterjee, who is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) and who has appointed Sri. Jose Kurian as Sole Arbitrator is part of the institution-or he is reasonably likely to be so viewed-which has vital interest in the outcome of the arbitration proceedings. It is hyper technical to contend that since he became the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent only on account of his holding the primary position of the Secretary, Department of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Government of India, he has a measure of independence vis--vis the institution of which he is holding the position of Chairman of the Board of Governors.11. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Perkins Eastman Architects DPC (supra) has held as follows:"20. We thus have two categories of cases. The first, similar to the one dealt with in TRF Limited where the Managing Director himself is named as an arbitrator with an additional power to appoint any other person as an arbitrator. In the second category, the Managing Director is not to act as an arbitrator himself but is empowered or authorized to appoint any other person of his choice or discretion as an arbitrator. If, in the first category of cases, the Managing Director was found incompetent, it was because of the interest that he would be said to be having in the outcome or result of the dispute. The element of invalidity would thus be directly relatable to and arise from the interest that he would be having in such outcome or decision. If that be the test, similar invalidity would always arise and spring even in the second category of cases. If the interest that he has in the outcome of the dispute, is taken to be the basis for the possibility of bias, it will always be present irrespective of whether the matter stands under the first or second category of cases. We are conscious that if such deduction is drawn from the decision of this Court in TRF Limited, all cases having clauses similar to that with which we are presently concerned, a party to the agreement would be disentitled to make any appointment of an Arbitrator on its own and it would always be available to argue that a party or an official or an authority having interest in the dispute would be disentitled to make appointment of an Arbitrator.21. But, in our view that has to be the logical deduction from TRF Limited. Paragraph 50 of the decision shows that this Court was concerned with the issue, "whether the Managing Director, after becoming ineligible by operation of law, is he still eligible to nominate an Arbitrator". The ineligibility referred to therein, was as a result of operation of law, in that a person having an interest in the dispute or in the outcome or decision thereof, must not only be ineligible to act as an arbitrator but must also not be eligible to appoint anyone else as an arbitrator and that such person cannot and should not have any role in charting out any course to the dispute resolution by having the power to appoint an arbitrator. The next sentences in the paragraph, further show that cases where both the parties could nominate respective arbitrators of their choice were found to be completely a different situation. The reason is clear that whatever advantage a party may derive by nominating an arbitrator of its choice would get counter balanced by equal power with the other party. But, in a case where only one party has a right to appoint a sole arbitrator, its choice will always have an element of exclusivity in determining or charting the course for dispute resolution. Naturally, the person who has an interest in the outcome or decision of the dispute must not have the power to appoint a sole arbitrator. That has to be taken as the essence of the amendments brought in by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act 3 of 2016) and recognized by the decision of this Court in TRF Limited."(Emphasis supplied)12. It is clearly held in the above decision by the Hon'ble Supreme Court that where the document of contract empowers only one of the parties to the dispute to appoint sole arbitrator, such power will have an element of exclusivity in determining or charting the course for dispute resolution. It is further held that the person who has an interest in t

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he outcome or decision of the dispute must not have the power to appoint a sole arbitrator.13. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has clearly said that, that has to be taken as essence of the amendment brought in by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 and the said principle has been recognized by an earlier decision reported in 2017 (8) SCC 377 (TRF Limited Vs. Energo Engineering Projects Limited).14. The above decision is squarely applicable to the present case. In that view of the matter, appointment of Sri.Jose Kurian as Sole Arbitrator made by Sri.Vinayak Chaterjee, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) is plainly illegal and therefore, Sri.Jose Kurian cannot proceed to hold the arbitration proceedings. This petition is entitled to be allowed. Hence, the following:ORDERa) The above petition is allowed.b) The appointment of Sri. Jose Kurian as Sole Arbitrator made by the Chairman, Sri.Vinayak Chaterjee, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the respondent (IIT, Dharwad) is illegal.c) Sri. Justice P.G.M. Patil, Former Judge, High Court of Karnataka is appointed as Sole Arbitrator for conducting the arbitration proceedings arising out of the contract in question between the parties. He shall hold the arbitration proceedings in Dharwad.d) The parties shall share fees and expenses of the learned Arbitrator as fixed by him equally.e) Intimate Sri. Justice P.G.M. Patil, Former Judge, High Court of Karnataka about this order forthwith.
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