The High Court of Delhi has ruled that in case the mandate of an arbitrator was prima facie terminated under Section 15 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, a petition under Section 11 of the Act could be treated as one under Section 15 (2) of the Act for the appointment of a substitute arbitrator.
The single-judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna recently passed the orders on a petition filed under Section 11 (6), seeking directions to the arbitrator to conclude the proceedings in a time-bound manner, with an alternative prayer of appointing substitute arbitrator if in case the current arbitrator was unable to conclude the proceedings expeditiously.
The High Court called upon Arbitrator Debashish Moitra, who was appointed under Section 11 of the A&C Act in 2008, to seek clarification on whether he can conclude the proceedings in a time-bound manner.
After the arbitrator expressed his inability to conclude the proceedings in a time-bound manner, the High Court held that by virtue of this statement, the mandate of Arbitrator Moitra was terminated under Section 15 (1 ) (a), A&C Act.
The Bench noted that the petition under Section 11 (6) of the Act was accordingly treated as a petition under Section 15 (2) read with Section 11 of the Act and appointed Advocate Amrit Oberoi as an arbitrator to arbitrate the dispute between the parties.
The High Court noted that the fee of the substitute arbitrator would be as per 4th Schedule of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, which would be paid by the petitioner as litigation cost.
Advocates Shreesh Chadha, Aman S. Bakhshi and Divjot Singh Bhatia appeared for the petitioner.
(Case title: M/S Madhu Kishan Gupta vs Municipal Corporation of Delhi)