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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Arbitration and conciliation Act - Disputes between the partieswhether to send it for expert opinion or to arbitrator - High Court instead of deciding issue whether there is any arbitration clause or not-open the issue on merits of disputes - billing - date of billing - billing disputes etc., and appointed arbitrator - Apex court set aside the orders of high court to that extent of opening of issues on merits as it should be decided by the Arbitrator but not by the court = Arasmeta Captive Power Company Private Limited and another ... Appellants Versus Lafarge India Private Limited ...Respondent = published in / cited in / Reported in judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41075

 Arbitration and conciliation Act - Disputes between the parties whether to send it for expert opinion or to arbitrator- High Court instead of deciding issue whether there is any arbitration clause or not-open the issue on merits of disputes - billing - date of billing - billing disputes etc., and appointed arbitrator - Apex court set aside the orders of high court to that extent of opening of issues on merits as it should be decided by the Arbitrator but not by the court = 
Suffice it to state that the appellant
      No. 1 is a company carrying on business in generation of  power.   
The
      respondent owns 49% equity of the appellant  No.  1  company  and  the
      appellant No. 2 owns 51% equity of the appellant No. 1  company.   
The
      appellant-company had entered into two agreements with the  respondent
      for supply of power to the respondent.  
The first agreement, namely, a
      Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was entered into on 10.2.2005  and 
 the
      second agreement of similar nature was entered into on  1.11.2007  for
      supply of power.  
In course of subsistence of the  agreements  dispute
      arose between the parties relating to amounts that is due and payable.
       
The appellants treated the dispute raised to be a  “billing  dispute”
      and sought to appoint an expert in accordance with clause 16.2 of  the
      agreements and, accordingly, communicated  with  the  respondent  vide
      letter dated 4.5.2012 proposing for appointment of one  of  the  three
      persons of expertise and  repute  for  appointment  as  an  expert  in
      respect  of  both  the  PPAs.   
The  appellant  No.1   requested   the
      Confederation of  Indian  Industry  vide  letter  dated  30.5.2012  to
      appoint a suitable  expert.   
As  put  forth  by  the  appellant,  the
      respondent did not accede to resolve the dispute by way of  appointing
      an expert instead, it moved the  High  Court  for  appointment  of  an
      arbitrator.          =   

The High Court adverted to the meanings of  “billing  date”,  “billing
      period”, “billing year, “clarification notice” and various terms  used
      in the agreement, scanned the anatomy of clause 9.3 of  the  agreement
      that deals with “billing disputes” and arrived at the conclusion  
that
      disputes raised do not come within the purview of  sub-clause  (a)  of
      clause 9.3 and, accordingly, appointed  an  arbitrator,  as  has  been
      stated hereinbefore.

In view of our  foregoing  analysis  we  sum  up  our  conclusions  as
      follows: -

   i) The decisions rendered in Boghara Polyfab Private Limited (supra)  and
      Chloro Controls India Private Limited (supra) are in accord  with  the
      principles of law stated in SBP & Co. (supra).

  ii) The designated Judge, as perceived  from  the  impugned  order,  while
      dealing with an application under Section 11(6)  of  the  Act,  on  an
      issue raised with regard to the excepted matters, was not justified in
      addressing the same on merits whether it  is  a  dispute  relating  to
      excepted matters under the agreement in question or not.

 iii) The designated Judge  has  fallen  into  error  by  opining  that  the
      disputes raised are not “billing disputes”, for the same  should  have
      been left to be adjudicated by the learned Arbitrator.

  iv) The part of the order impugned that reflects the expression of opinion
      by the designate of the Chief Justice on the merits of  the  disputes,
      being pregnable, deserves to be set aside and is hereby set aside.

  43. In course of hearing we have been apprised that the learned Arbitrator
      has  adjourned  the  matter   to   13.12.2013   for   filing   counter
      affidavit/claim by the appellants and it has  been  submitted  by  Mr.
      Ranjit Kumar that it would not be possible for the appellants to  file
      the counter affidavit/claim or objections to the claim by  that  date.
      Mr. Harish Salve, learned senior counsel appearing for the respondent,
      fairly stated that this Court may take note of the concession given by
      him  that  the  learned  Arbitrator  should  grant  six  weeks’   time
      commencing  13.12.2013  for  filing  the   counter   affidavit/counter
      claim/objections.  In view of the concession given,  the  time  stands
      extended.  We have also been told  that  the  learned  Arbitrator  has
      fixed the schedule for adjudication of the disputes.  We would request
      the learned Arbitrator to re-schedule the dates as  we  have  extended
      the time for filing of counter affidavit/claim by the appellants.

  44. Ex consequenti, the appeal is allowed in part to  the  extent  as  has
      been stated in our conclusions.  There shall be no order as to costs.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.11003 OF 2013
               (Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 29651 of 2013)


Arasmeta Captive Power Company Private
Limited and another                                ... Appellants

                                   Versus

Lafarge India Private Limited                       ...Respondent






                               J U D G M E N T


Dipak Misra, J.


      Leave granted.

   2. In Government of Andra  Pradesh  and  others  v.  A.  P.  Jaiswal  and
      others[1] a three-Judge Bench has observed thus:-
      “Consistency is the cornerstone of the administration of justice.   It
      is consistency  which  creates  confidence  in  the  system  and  this
      consistency can never be achieved  without  respect  to  the  rule  of
      finality.  It is with  a  view  to  achieve  consistency  in  judicial
      pronouncements, the  Courts  have  evolved  the  rule  of  precedents,
      principle of stare decisis etc. These rules and principle are based on
      public policy...”



   3. We have commenced our opinion with the aforesaid exposition of law  as
      arguments have been canvassed by  Mr.  Ranjit  Kumar,  learned  senior
      counsel for the appellants, with innovative intellectual animation how
      a three-Judge Bench in Chloro Controls India Private Limited v.  Seven
      Trent Water Purification  Inc.  and  others[2]  has  inappositely  and
      incorrectly understood the principles stated in the major part of  the
      decision rendered by  a  larger  Bench  in  SBP  &  Company  v.  Patel
      Engineering Ltd. and another[3] and, in resistance, Mr.  Harish  Salve
      and Dr. A.M. Singhvi, learned senior counsel for the respondent, while
      defending the view expressed later by the three-Judge Bench, have laid
      immense emphasis on consistency  and  certainty  of  law  that  garner
      public confidence, especially in  the  field  of  arbitration,  regard
      being had to  the  globalization  of  economy  and  stability  of  the
      jurisprudential concepts and pragmatic  process  of  arbitration  that
      sparkles the soul of commercial progress.  We make it  clear  that  we
      are not writing the grammar of arbitration but indubitably we  intend,
      and we shall, in course of our delineation,  endeavour  to  clear  the
      maze, so that certainty remains “A Definite” and finality is ‘Final’.

   4. The present appeal, by special leave, is directed against the judgment
      and order dated 22.7.2013 passed by the learned Judge,  the  designate
      of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur, in
      Arbitration Application No. 24 of 2012 whereby and  whereunder,
while
      dealing with an application preferred under Section 11(5) and  (6)  of
      the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (for  brevity  “the  Act”),
      has repelled the submission of the appellant herein, the respondent in
      the original proceedings, that the disputes raised by  the  applicant,
      being excepted matters, were squarely  covered  within  the  ambit  of
      clause 9.3 of the agreement and 
hence, it was only to be  referred  to
      an expert for  resolution  and  not  to  an  arbitrator  and,  
further
      addressing the issue on merits, opined that
 as the  disputes  are  not
      covered under the subject-matter of billing disputes that  find  place
      in clause 9.3 of the agreement, the parties are not  under  obligation
      to refer the matter to the expert, and, 
accordingly,  called  for  the
      names from both the parties and taking note of the inability expressed
      by the counsel for the respondents therein, appointed an arbitrator to
      adjudicate the disputes that have arisen between the parties.

   5. Regard being had to the narrow compass of  the  controversy  that  has
      emanated for consideration before this Court, we need not  dwell  upon
      the factual matrix in extenso.
Suffice it to state that the appellant
      No. 1 is a company carrying on business in generation of  power.   
The
      respondent owns 49% equity of the appellant  No.  1  company  and  the
      appellant No. 2 owns 51% equity of the appellant No. 1  company.   
The
      appellant-company had entered into two agreements with the  respondent
      for supply of power to the respondent.  
The first agreement, namely, a
      Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was entered into on 10.2.2005  and 
 the
      second agreement of similar nature was entered into on  1.11.2007  for
      supply of power.  
In course of subsistence of the  agreements  dispute
      arose between the parties relating to amounts that is due and payable.
     
The appellants treated the dispute raised to be a  “billing  dispute”
      and sought to appoint an expert in accordance with clause 16.2 of  the
      agreements and, accordingly, communicated  with  the  respondent  vide
      letter dated 4.5.2012 proposing for appointment of one  of  the  three
      persons of expertise and  repute  for  appointment  as  an  expert  in
      respect  of  both  the  PPAs.   
The  appellant  No.1   requested   the
      Confederation of  Indian  Industry  vide  letter  dated  30.5.2012  to
      appoint a suitable  expert.   
As  put  forth  by  the  appellant,  the
      respondent did not accede to resolve the dispute by way of  appointing
      an expert instead, it moved the  High  Court  for  appointment  of  an
      arbitrator.

   6. In support of the application for appointment of  arbitrator,  
it  was
      contended before the learned designated Judge that
as the  claims  for
      recovery of arrears had not been settled and the  respondents  therein
      had communicated that the claims came within the ambit  of  sub-clause
      (a) of clause 9.3 of the agreement and required the matter to be dealt
      with by an expert and an expert should be appointed in terms of clause
      16.2 and 16.4 of the  agreement  and  declined  to  take  recourse  to
      arbitration, it had become incumbent to move the court for appointment
      of an arbitrator.

   7. The said stand and stance put forth by the respondent before the  High
      Court was resisted by the present appellants that 
disputes would  come
      within  clause  16.2  of  the  agreement  that  deals  with   “Dispute
      Resolution” which provides a specific mechanism and  not  arbitration,
      for it has been clearly postulated therein that 
where any  dispute  is
      not resolved as provided for in clause 16.2 then only the matter shall
      be submitted to arbitration at the request of either of the parties by
      written notice in accordance with the provisions contained in the Act.



   8. The High Court adverted to the meanings of  “billing  date”,  “billing
      period”, “billing year, “clarification notice” and various terms  used
      in the agreement, scanned the anatomy of clause 9.3 of  the  agreement
      that deals with “billing disputes” and arrived at the conclusion  
that
      disputes raised do not come within the purview of  sub-clause  (a)  of
      clause 9.3 and, accordingly, appointed  an  arbitrator,  as  has  been
      stated hereinbefore.

   9. Mr. Ranjit Kumar, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants,
      criticizing the view expressed by the designated Judge, has  submitted
      that the dispute raised by the respondent being  a  “billing  dispute”
      which is an excepted matter, it  was  obligatory  on  the  contracting
      parties to resolve the dispute through  an  expert  committee  by  the
      mechanism provided in the agreement itself and the same could not have
      been referred to an arbitrator to be arbitrated upon.  Pyramiding  the
      said proponement, learned senior counsel  would  submit  that  once  a
      dispute falls in the realm of an excepted matter, as stipulated in the
      agreement, it is a non-arbitrable claim and hence, the court alone has
      the jurisdiction to decide the issue of arbitrability and it cannot be
      left to be adjudicated by an arbitrator and as in the present case the
      learned Judge has erroneously  decided  that  it  is  not  a  “billing
      dispute” and  thereby  not  an  excepted  matter,  the  same  warrants
      interference.  In essence, the submission is that  advertence  to  the
      spectrum of arbitrability or to  the  sphere  of  excepted  matter  to
      decide the issue of jurisdiction as contemplated under  Section  11(6)
      of the Act is justified but the analysis and the conclusion as regards
      the nature of dispute is indefensible.  To buttress his submissions he
      has commended us to the  decisions  in  SBP  &  Co.  (supra)  and  APS
      Kushwaha (SSI Unit) v. Municipal Corporation, Gwalior and others[4].

  10. Mr. Harish N. Salve and  Dr.  A.M.  Singhvi,  learned  senior  counsel
      appearing for the respondent, in oppugnation, have submitted that  the
      principles stated in SBP’s case have been appositely understood  by  a
      two-Judge Bench in the decision in National Insurance Company  Limited
      v. Boghara Polyfab Private Limited[5] and  the  analysis  therein  has
      been accepted and approved by a three-Judge Bench in  Chloro  Controls
      India Private  Limited  (supra)  and,  therefore,  whether  it  is  an
      excepted matter or not, despite strenuous urging of the  same  by  the
      appellants, is required to be left to be adjudicated in  the  arbitral
      proceedings.  The learned senior counsel  would  further  submit  that
      what has been opined in the SBP’s case has already been reflected upon
      and that being the settled position of law, certainty in the realm  of
      adjudication should be allowed to stay.  That apart, it  is  urged  by
      Mr. Salve and Dr. Singhvi that the designated Judge  has  fallen  into
      error by  delving into the merits of the  matter,  i.e.,  whether  the
      disputes are “billing disputes” or not, for it should have  been  left
      to be adjudicated upon by the learned  arbitrator.   It  is  submitted
      that if any interference is warranted the said findings should be  set
      aside and the matter should be allowed to be arbitrated  upon  by  the
      learned arbitrator as other conditions precedent for invocation of the
      arbitration clause have been accepted and are not under assail.

  11. In reply  to  the  submissions  of  learned  senior  counsel  for  the
      respondent,  Mr.  Ranjit  Kumar,  learned  senior  counsel   for   the
      appellants, would contend that  the  analysis  made  in  the  case  of
      Boghara Polyfab Private Limited (supra)  by  the  two-Judge  Bench  is
      contrary to what has been stated in SBP’s case and similarly the  seal
      of concurrence given by the three-Judge Bench in Chloro Controls India
      Private Limited (supra) is neither justified nor correct, and in fact,
      on a studied scrutiny, the lis deserves to be  referred  to  a  larger
      Bench.  The learned senior counsel would further submit that certainty
      of law in its fundamental conceptuality has to be in  consonance  with
      the principles stated in larger Bench decisions and not to be  allowed
      to exist despite striking a note of discordance.

  12. To appreciate the controversy it is  pertinent  to  refer  to  certain
      provisions, namely, Sections 8, 9, 11 and 16 of the  Act.   Section  8
      deals with power to refer parties to arbitration  where  there  is  an
      arbitration agreement.  The said power  is  conferred  on  a  judicial
      authority before which an action is brought in a matter which  is  the
      subject-matter of agreement.  Certain conditions precedent  have  been
      incorporated in sub-sections  (1)  and  (2)  of  the  said  provision.
      Section 9 provides for grant of interim measures by court.  Section 11
      deals with appointment of arbitrators.  Section 11(2) stipulates  that
      subject to sub-section (6),  the  parties  are  free  to  agree  on  a
      procedure for appointing the arbitrator or arbitrators.   Sub-sections
      (3) to (5) deal with requisite procedure to  be  followed  in  certain
      circumstances for appointment of arbitrator.  Sub-sections (6) and (8)
      of the said provision, which are relevant  for  the  present  purpose,
      read as follows: -

      “(6)  Where,  under  an  appointment  procedure  agreed  upon  by  the
          parties, -

     a. a party fails to act as required under that procedure; or

     b. the parties, or the two appointer arbitrators,  fail  to  reach  an
        agreement expected of them under that procedure; or

     c. a person, including an institution, fails to perform  any  function
        entrusted to him or it under that procedure,

      a party may request the Chief Justice or  any  person  or  institution
      designated by him to take the necessary measures, unless the agreement
      on the appointment procedure provides other  means  for  securing  the
      appointment.

                  xxx              xxx             xxx

      (8)   The Chief Justice or the person  or  institution  designated  by
      him, in appointing an arbitrator, shall have due regard to -

      (a)   any qualifications required of the arbitrator by  the  agreement
           of the parties; and

      (b)   other considerations as are likely to secure the appointment  of
           an independent and impartial arbitrator.”



      Section 16 provides for competence of arbitral tribunal to rule on its
own jurisdiction.  It stipulates that the arbitral tribunal may rule on  its
own jurisdiction, including ruling on any objections  with  respect  to  the
existence or validity of the arbitration agreement.

  13. Regard being had to the anatomy of the Act and  the  contours  of  the
      aforesaid provisions, a Bench of seven Judges in SBP & Co. (supra)  by
      majority has stated about the functions to be performed by  the  Chief
      Justice or his designate to do.  Or, to put it differently,  what  are
      required to be determined by the Chief Justice or his designate,  have
      been exposited thus: -

      “39.  It is necessary  to  define  what  exactly  the  Chief  Justice,
      approached with an application under Section 11  of  the  Act,  is  to
      decide  at  that  stage.   Obviously,  he  has  to  decide   his   own
      jurisdiction in the sense whether the  party  making  the  motion  has
      approached the right High Court.  He has to decide whether there is an
      arbitration agreement, as defined in the Act and  whether  the  person
      who has made the request before him, is a party to such an  agreement.
      It is necessary to indicate that  he  can  also  decide  the  question
      whether the claim was a dead one; or  a  long-barred  claim  that  was
      sought to be resurrected and whether the parties  have  concluded  the
      transaction by recording  satisfaction  of  their  mutual  rights  and
      obligations or by receiving the final payment without  objection.   It
      may not be possible at that stage, to  decide  whether  a  live  claim
      made, is one which comes within the purview of the arbitration clause.
       It will be appropriate to leave that question to be  decided  by  the
      Arbitral Tribunal on taking evidence, along with  the  merits  of  the
      claims involved in the arbitration.  The Chief Justice has  to  decide
      whether the applicant has satisfied the conditions for  appointing  an
      arbitrator under Section 11(6) of the Act.  For the purpose of  taking
      a decision on these aspects, the Chief Justice can either  proceed  on
      the basis of affidavits  and  the  documents  produced  or  take  such
      evidence or get such evidence recorded, as may be necessary.  We think
      that adoption of this procedure in the context of the Act  would  best
      serve the purpose sought to be achieved by the Act of  expediting  the
      process of arbitration, without too many approaches to  the  court  at
      various stages of the proceedings before the Arbitral Tribunal.”

  14. In the said case, in paragraph 47  the  majority  has  summed  up  the
      conclusions in seriatim.  Conclusion  (iv),  as  summed  in  the  said
      paragraph, reads as follows: -

      “(iv) The Chief Justice or the designated Judge will have the right to
      decide the preliminary aspects as indicate in the earlier part of this
      judgment.  These  will  be  his  own  jurisdiction  to  entertain  the
      request, the existence of a valid arbitration agreement, the existence
      or otherwise of a live claim, the existence of the condition  for  the
      exercise of his power and on the qualifications of the  arbitrator  or
      arbitrators.  The Chief Justice  or  the  designated  Judge  would  be
      entitled to seek the opinion  of  an  institution  in  the  matter  of
      nominating an arbitrator qualified in terms of Section  11(8)  of  the
      Act if the need arises but the order appointing the  arbitrator  could
      only be that of the Chief Justice or the designated Judge.”

  15. On a careful reading of the paragraph 39 and conclusion No.  (iv),  as
      set out in paragraph 47, it is limpid that for the purpose of  setting
      into motion the arbitral procedure the Chief Justice or his  designate
      is  required  to  decide   the   issues,   namely,   (i)   territorial
      jurisdiction, (ii) existence of an arbitration agreement  between  the
      parties, (iii) existence or  otherwise  of  a  live  claim,  and  (iv)
      existence  of  the  conditions  for  exercise  of  power  and  further
      satisfaction as regards the qualification  of  the  arbitrator.   That
      apart, under certain circumstances the Chief Justice or his  designate
      is also required to see whether a long-barred claim is  sought  to  be
      restricted and whether the parties had concluded  the  transaction  by
      recording satisfaction of the mutual  rights  and  obligations  or  by
      receiving the final payment without objection.

  16. At this stage we may notice the opinion expressed by a two-Judge Bench
      in Shree Ram Mills Ltd. v. Utility Premises (P) Ltd.[6], pertaining to
      the issues which are to be dealt with by  the  Chief  Justice  or  his
      designate.  The two-Judge Bench, after referring to  paragraph  39  in
      SBP & Co. (supra), opined that the Chief Justice has to  decide  about
      the  territorial  jurisdiction  and  also  whether  there  exists   an
      arbitration agreement between the parties and whether such  party  has
      approached the court for appointment of  the  arbitrator.   The  Chief
      Justice has to examine as to whether the claim is a dead one or in the
      sense whether the parties have already concluded the  transaction  and
      have recorded satisfaction of their mutual rights and  obligations  or
      whether  the  parties  concerned  have  recorded  their   satisfaction
      regarding the financial claims.  In examining the said aspect  if  the
      parties have  recorded  their  satisfaction  regarding  the  financial
      claims, there will be no question  of  any  issue  remaining.   It  is
      further observed therein that in the said context  the  Chief  Justice
      has to examine as to whether there  remains  anything  to  be  decided
      between the parties in  respect  of  the  agreement  and  whether  the
      parties are still at issue on any such matter.  If the  Chief  Justice
      does not, in the strict sense, decide the issue, in that event  it  is
      for him to locate such issue and record  his  satisfaction  that  such
      issue exists between the parties.  It is only in that sense  that  the
      finding on a live issue is given.  That apart, as observed, it is only
      for the purpose of finding out whether the arbitral procedure  has  to
      be started that the Chief Justice  has  to  record  satisfaction  that
      there remains a live issue in between the parties.  The same thing  is
      about the limitation which is always a mixed question of law and fact.
       The Chief Justice only has to  record  his  satisfaction  that  prima
      facie the issue had not become dead by the lapse of time or  that  any
      party to the agreement has not slept over its right  beyond  the  time
      permitted by law to agitate those issues  covered  by  the  agreement.
      The  Chief  Justice  or  his  designate  is  required  to  record  his
      satisfaction that the parties have not closed  their  rights  and  the
      matter has not been barred by limitation.   Thus,  whether  the  Chief
      Justice comes to a finding  that  there  exists  a  live  issue,  then
      naturally this finding would include a  finding  that  the  respective
      claims of the parties have not become barred by limitation.

  17. In Boghara Polyfab Private Limited (supra) a  two-Judge  Bench,  while
      understanding and explaining the duty of  the  Chief  Justice  or  his
      designate, as defined in SBP & Co. (supra), has ruled thus: -

      “22.  Where the intervention of the court is sought for appointment of
      an Arbitral Tribunal under Section 11, the duty of the  Chief  Justice
      or his designate is defined in SBP & Co.  This  Court  identified  and
      segregated the preliminary issues that may arise for consideration  in
      an application under Section 11 of the Act into three categories, that
      is, (i) issues which the Chief Justice or his designate  is  bound  to
      decide; (ii) issues which he can also decide, that is, issues which he
      may choose to decide; and (iii) issues which should  be  left  to  the
      Arbitral Tribunal to decide.

      22.1.  The  issues  (first  category)  which  the  Chief   Justice/his
      designate will have to decide are:

            (a) Whether the party making the application has approached  the
           appropriate High Court.

            (b) Whether there is an arbitration agreement  and  whether  the
           party who has applied under Section 11 of the Act, is a party to
           such an agreement.

      22.2.  The  issues  (second  category)  which  the  Chief  Justice/his
      designate may choose to decide (or leave them to the decision  of  the
      Arbitral Tribunal) are:

           (a) Whether claim is a dead (long-barred) claim or a live claim.

           (b) Whether the parties have concluded the  contract/transaction
           by recording satisfaction of their mutual rights and  obligation
           or by receiving the final payment without objection.

      22.3.  The  issues  (third  category)  which  the  Chief   Justice/his
      designate should leave exclusively to the Arbitral Tribunal are:

           (i) Whether a claim made falls within the arbitration clause (as
           for example, a matter which is reserved for final decision of  a
           departmental   authority   and   excepted   or   excluded   from
           arbitration).

           (ii) Merits or any claim involved in the arbitration.”

  18. In the said case, it has been further  held  that  in  regard  to  the
      issues falling in second category, if raised in an  application  under
      Section 11 of the Act, the  Chief  Justice/his  designate  may  decide
      them, if necessary, by taking evidence.  Alternatively, he  may  leave
      those issues open with a direction to the Arbitral Tribunal to  decide
      the same.  In case the Chief  Justice  or  his  designate  chooses  to
      examine the issue and decides it, the  Arbitral  Tribunal  cannot  re-
      examine the same issue.  The learned Judges have observed  by  placing
      reliance on SBP & Co. (supra) that Chief Justice/his designate  would,
      in choosing whether he would decide such issue  or  leave  it  to  the
      Arbitral  Tribunal,  be  guided  by  the  object  of  the  Act,  i.e.,
      expediting the arbitration process with minimum judicial intervention.



  19. Recently in Chloro Controls India Private  Limited  (supra)  a  three-
      Judge Bench considered the issue whether there is any variance between
      the Shree Ram Mills Ltd. (supra) and Boghara Polyfab  Private  Limited
      (supra)  and  observed  that  both  the  judgments   are   free   from
      contradiction and capable of being read in harmony in order  to  bring
      them in line with the statutory law declared by the  larger  Bench  in
      SBP & Co. (supra).  The Court observed that where the Chief Justice or
      his designate actually decides the issue, then it  can  no  longer  be
      prima facie, but would be a decision binding in law  and  on  such  an
      issue the Arbitral Tribunal will have no jurisdiction to  re-determine
      the issue.  The three-Judge Bench reproduced paragraph 27 of Shree Ram
      Mills Ltd. (supra) and we think that we should quote the relevant part
      on which an opinion has been expressed:-

       “If the Chief Justice does not,  in  the  strict  sense,  decide  the
       issue, in that event it is for him to locate such  issue  and  record
       his satisfaction that such issue exists between the parties.   It  is
       only in that sense that the finding on a live issue is  given.   Even
       at the cost of repetition we mush state  that  it  is  only  for  the
       purpose of finding out whether  the  arbitral  procedure  has  to  be
       started that the Chief Justice has to record satisfaction that  there
       remains a live issue in between the parties.  The same thing is about
       the limitation which is always a mixed question of law and fact.  The
       Chief Justice only has to record his satisfaction  that  prima  facie
       the issue has not become dead by the lapse of time or that any  party
       to the agreement has not  slept  over  its  rights  beyond  the  time
       permitted by law to agitate those issues covered  by  the  agreement.
       It is for this reason that it was pointed out in the above  paragraph
       that  it  would  be  appropriate  sometimes  to  leave  the  question
       regarding the live claim to be decided by the Arbitral Tribunal.  All
       that he has to do is to record his satisfaction that the parties have
       not closed their rights  and  the  matter  has  not  been  barred  by
       limitation.  Thus, where the Chief Justice comes to  a  finding  that
       there exists a live issue, then naturally this finding would  include
       a finding that the respective claims of the parties have  not  become
       barred by limitation.”



      Thereafter, the three-Judge Bench explained the decision in  following
terms:-

      “Thus, the Bench while explaining the judgment of this Court in SBP  &
      Co. has state that the Chief Justice may  not  decide  certain  issues
      finally and upon recording satisfaction that prima facie the issue has
      not become dead even leave it for the Arbitral Tribunal to decide.”

  20. Thereafter, the three-Judge Bench referred to paragraph 20  of  SBP  &
      Co. (supra) and stated that in Shree Ram Mills  Ltd.  (supra)  clearly
      the Bench did not intend to lay down any law in direct  conflict  with
      seven-Judge Bench in SBP & Co. (supra).

  21. At that juncture, dealing with the classification carved  out  by  the
      Court in Boghara Polyfab  Private  Limited  (supra),  the  three-Judge
      Bench observed that it draws its origin from para 39 of  the  judgment
      in SBP & Co. (supra) and thereafter proceeded to state thus: -

      “124. The foundation  for  Category  (2)  in  para  22.2  of  National
      Insurance Co. Ltd. is directly relatable to para 39 of the judgment of
      this Court in SBP & Co. and matters falling in that category are those
      which, depending on the facts and circumstances of a given case, could
      be decided by the Chief Justice or his designate or even may  be  left
      for the decision of the arbitrator, provided there  exists  a  binding
      arbitration agreement between the parties.  Similar is the approach of
      the Bench in Shree Ram Mills and that is why in para 27  thereof,  the
      Court has recorded that it would be appropriate sometimes to leave the
      question regarding the claim being alive to be decided by the Arbitral
      Tribunal and the  Chief  Justice  may  record  his  satisfaction  that
      parties have not closed their rights  and  the  matter  has  not  been
      barred by limitation.

      125. As already notice, the observations made by the Court have to be
           construed and  read  to  support  the  ratio  decidendi  of  the
           judgment.  Observations in a judgment which are stared  upon  by
           the judgment of  a  larger  Bench  would  not  constitute  valid
           precedent as it will be hit by the doctrine  of  stare  decisis.
           In Shree Ram Mills surely the bench did not intend to  lay  down
           the law or state a proposition which  is  directly  in  conflict
           with the judgment of the Constitution Bench of this Court in SBP
           & Co..

      126. We have no reason to differ with the classification  carved  out
           in National Insurance Co. as it is very much in conformity  with
           the judgment of the Constitution Bench in SBP.”

                                                            [Emphasis added]

  22. Mr. Ranjit Kumar, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants,
      has drawn our attention to various paragraphs of the decision in SBP &
      Co. (supra) to highlight that excepted matters as  per  the  agreement
      have to be decided by the Chief Justice or his designate.  Drawing our
      attention to paragraph 9 of the said judgment learned  senior  counsel
      has submitted that the larger Bench has clearly  observed  that  while
      functioning under Section 11(6) of the Act, a  Chief  Justice  or  the
      person or the institution  designated  by  him,  is  bound  to  decide
      whether  he  has  jurisdiction,  whether  there  is   an   arbitration
      agreement, whether the applicant before him is a  party,  whether  the
      conditions for exercise of the power have been fulfilled,  and  if  an
      arbitrator is to be appointed, who is the fit person, in terms of  the
      provisions and the condition for exercise of power is  dependent  upon
      the nature of the agreement and the  arbitration  clause  and  in  its
      sweep it commands that there should be an adjudication in  respect  of
      excepted matters and once it is found that they are excepted  matters,
      an arbitrator should not be appointed in respect of  such  matters  or
      the disputes should not be referred to arbitration.

  23. The learned senior counsel has also  drawn  immense  inspiration  from
      paragraph  25  of  the  judgment  of  the  said  case  wherein,  while
      discussing about the jurisdiction of the Chief Justice,  it  has  been
      stated that he has to enquire whether the conditions for  exercise  of
      his power under Section 11(6) of the Act exist in the  case  and  only
      being satisfied in that behalf could he appoint an  arbitrator  or  an
      Arbitral Tribunal on the basis of the request.    It further  observed
      that it is difficult to say that when one of  the  parties  raises  an
      objection that there is no arbitration agreement, raises an  objection
      that the person who has come forward with a request is not a party  to
      the agreement, the Chief Justice can come to  a  conclusion  on  those
      objections without following an adjudicatory process.  Thereafter  the
      seven-Judge Bench stated thus: -

      “Can he constitute an Arbitral  Tribunal,  without  considering  these
      questions?  If he can do so, why should such a function  be  entrusted
      to a high judicial authority like the Chief Justice.  Similarly,  when
      the party raises an objection that  the  conditions  for  exercise  of
      power under Section 11(6) of the Act are not fulfilled and  the  Chief
      Justice comes to the conclusion that they have been fulfilled,  it  is
      difficult to say that he was not adjudicating on a dispute between the
      parties and was merely passing an administrative order.   It  is  also
      not correct to say that  by  the  mere  constitution  of  an  Arbitral
      Tribunal the rights of the parties are not affected.  Dragging a party
      to an arbitration when there existed no arbitration agreement or  when
      there existed no arbitrable dispute, can certainly affect the right of
      that party, and, even on monetary  terms,  impose  on  him  a  serious
      liability for meeting the expenses of the arbitration, even if  it  be
      the preliminary expenses and his objection is upheld by  the  Arbitral
      Tribunal.  Therefore, it is not possible to accept the  position  that
      no adjudication  is  involved  in  the  constitution  of  an  Arbitral
      Tribunal.”

  24. Mr. Ranjit Kumar, learned senior counsel, has placed heavy emphasis on
      the words “when there existed  no  arbitral  dispute”  to  spiral  the
      submission that the Chief Justice or his designate is under the  legal
      obligation to decide the said facet when the issue is  raised  and  it
      cannot  be  left  to  the  arbitrator  or  an  Arbitral  Tribunal  for
      adjudication.

  25. Before we comment on this, we may also refer to observations  made  in
      paragraph 38 of the judgment in SBP & Co. (supra) as the same has also
      been  repeatedly  commended  to  us  by   Mr.   Ranjit   Kumar.    For
      understanding of the ratio decidendi we think it apt to reproduce  the
      relevant portion which  has  intellectually  stimulated  the   learned
      senior counsel for the appellants: -

      “... the basic requirement for  exercising  his  power  under  Section
      11(6), is the existence  of  an  arbitration  agreement  in  terms  of
      Section 7 of the Act and the  application  before  the  Chief  Justice
      being shown to be a party to such an agreement.  It would also include
      the question of the existence of jurisdiction in him to entertain  the
      request and an enquiry whether at least a part of the cause of  action
      has arisen within the  State  concerned.   Therefore,  a  decision  on
      jurisdiction and on the existence of the arbitration agreement and  of
      the person making the request being a party to that agreement and  the
      subsistence of an arbitral dispute  require  to  be  decided  and  the
      decision  on  these  aspects  is  a  prelude  to  the  Chief   Justice
      considering whether the requirements of sub-section  (4),  sub-section
      (5) or sub-section(6) of Section 11 are satisfied when approached with
      the request for appointment of an arbitrator.”

  26. The aforesaid passage is pressed  into  service  for  the  Simon  pure
      reason  that  the  seven-Judge  Bench   has   used   the   phraseology
      “subsistence of an arbitral dispute required to be  decided”.   It  is
      emphatically submitted that it has to be  read  in  harmony  with  the
      words used in paragraph 25, namely, “when there  existed  no  arbitral
      dispute”.  In this backdrop it is propounded  that  the  decisions  in
      Boghara Polyfab Private Limited  (supra)  and  Chloro  Controls  India
      Private Limited (supra) require reconsideration.

  27. Mr. Salve and Dr. Singhvi, learned  counsel  for  the  respondent,  in
      their turn, have submitted that paragraph 39  in  SBP  &  Co.  (supra)
      speaks about the role of the Chief Justice  in  definitive  exactitude
      and the same has been emphatically stated in sub-para (iv) of para  47
      where there is summation of the conclusions.   Quite  apart  from  the
      above, it is contended that in Chloro Controls India  Private  Limited
      (supra) the three-Judge Bench has correctly understood the decision in
      SBP  &  Co.  (supra)  and,  accordingly,  did  not  differ  with   the
      classification carved out in Boghara Polyfab Private Limited (supra).

  28. At this juncture, we think it condign to refer to certain  authorities
      which lay down the principle for understanding the ratio decidendi  of
      a judgment.  Such  a  deliberation,  we  are  disposed  to  think,  is
      necessary as we  notice  that  contentions  are  raised  that  certain
      observations in some paragraphs in SPB & Co. (supra) have been  relied
      upon to build the edifice that latter judgments have not  referred  to
      them.

  29. In Ambica Quarry Works v. State of Gujarat and others[7], it has  been
      stated that the ratio of  any  decision  must  be  understood  in  the
      background of the facts of that case.  Relying on Quinn v.  Leathem[8]
      it has been held that the case  is  only  an  authority  for  what  it
      actually decides, and not what logically follows from it.

  30.  Lord Halsbury in the case of Quinn (supra) has ruled thus: -
           “...there are two observations of a general  character  which  I
      wish to make, and one is to repeat what I have very often said before,
      that every judgment must be read as applicable to the particular facts
      proved,  or  assumed  to  be  proved,  since  the  generality  of  the
      expressions  which  may  be  found  there  are  not  intended  to   be
      expositions of the whole  law,  but  governed  and  qualified  by  the
      particular facts of the case in  which  such  expressions  are  to  be
      found.  The other is that a case is only  an  authority  for  what  it
      actually decides.  I entirely  deny  that  it  can  be  quoted  for  a
      proposition that may seem to follow logically from it.  Such a mode of
      reasoning assumes that the law is necessarily a logical code,  whereas
      every lawyer must acknowledge that the law is not  always  logical  at
      all.”

                                       [Emphasis supplied]

  31. In Krishena Kumar v. Union of India and  others[9],  the  Constitution
      Bench, while dealing with the concept of ratio decidendi, has referred
      to Caledonian Railway Co. v. Walker’s Trustees[10] and  Quinn  (supra)
      and the observations made by  Sir  Frederick  Pollock  and  thereafter
      proceeded to state as follows: -
      “The ratio decidendi is the underlying principle, namely, the  general
      reasons or the general grounds upon which the decision is based on the
      test or abstract from the specific  peculiarities  of  the  particular
      case which gives rise to the decision. The ratio decidendi has  to  be
      ascertained by an analysis of the facts of the case and the process of
      reasoning involving the major premise  consisting  of  a  pre-existing
      rule of law, either statutory  or  judge-made,  and  a  minor  premise
      consisting  of  the  material  facts  of  the  case  under   immediate
      consideration. If it is not clear, it is not the duty of the court  to
      spell it out with difficulty in order to be bound by it. In the  words
      of Halsbury (4th edn., Vol. 26, para 573)

           “The concrete decision alone is binding between the  parties  to
           it but it is the abstract ratio decidendi, as ascertained  on  a
           consideration of the judgment in relation to the subject  matter
           of the decision, which alone has the force of law and which when
           it is clear it is not part of a tribunal’s  duty  to  spell  out
           with difficulty a ratio decidendi in order to bound by  it,  and
           it is always dangerous to take one or two observations out of  a
           long judgment and treat them as if they gave the ratio decidendi
           of the case. If more reasons than one are given  by  a  tribunal
           for its judgment, all are taken as forming the ratio decidendi.”

                                          [Emphasis added]



  32. In State of Orissa v. Mohd. Illiyas[11], it has been stated thus: -

       “12. … According to the  well-settled  theory  of  precedents,  every
      decision contains three basic postulates:  (i)  findings  of  material
      facts, direct and inferential. An inferential finding of facts is  the
      inference which the Judge draws from the direct, or perceptible facts;
      (ii) statements of the principles  of  law  applicable  to  the  legal
      problems disclosed by the facts;  and  (iii)  judgment  based  on  the
      combined effect of the above. A decision is an authority for  what  it
      actually decides. What is of the essence in a decision  is  its  ratio
      and not every observation found therein nor what logically flows  from
      the various observations made in the judgment.”



  33. In Islamic Academy of Education v. State of Karnataka[12],  the  Court
      has made the following observations: -
       “2. … The ratio decidendi of a judgment has to be found out  only  on
      reading the entire judgment. In fact, the ratio  of  the  judgment  is
      what is set out in the judgment itself. The  answer  to  the  question
      would necessarily have to be read in the context of what is set out in
      the judgment and not in isolation. In case of any doubt as regards any
      observations, reasons and principles, the other part of  the  judgment
      has to be looked into. By reading a  line  here  and  there  from  the
      judgment, one cannot find  out  the  entire  ratio  decidendi  of  the
      judgment.”

                                      [Underlining is by us]



  34. The said authorities  have  been  relied  upon  in  Natural  Resources
      Allocation, In Re, Special Reference No. 1 of 2012[13].

  35. At this stage, we may also profitably refer to another principle which
      is of assistance to understand and appreciate the ratio decidendi of a
      judgment.  The judgments rendered by a court are not  to  be  read  as
      statutes.  In Union of India v. Amrit Lal Manchanda  and  another[14],
      it has been stated that observations of courts are neither to be  read
      as Euclid’s theorems nor as provisions of the  statute  and  that  too
      taken out of their context.  The  observations  must  be  red  in  the
      context in which they appear to have been stated.  To interpret words,
      phrases and provisions of a  statute,  it  may  become  necessary  for
      judges to embark into lengthy discussions but the discussion is  meant
      to explain and not to define.  Judges interpret statutes, they do  not
      interpret judgments.  They interpret words of  statutes;  their  words
      are not to be interpreted as statutes.

  36. In Som Mittal v. Government of Karnataka[15],  it  has  been  observed
      that judgments are not to be construed  as  statutes.   Nor  words  or
      phrases in judgments to be interpreted like provisions of  a  statute.
      Some  words  used  in  a  judgment  should  be  read  and   understood
      contextually and are not intended to be taken literally.  Many a  time
      a judge uses a phrase or expression with the intention of  emphasizing
      a point or accentuating a principle or even by way of  a  flourish  of
      writing style.  Ratio decidendi of a judgment is not to  be  discerned
      from a stray word or phrase read in isolation.

  37. From the aforesaid authorities it is luculent that the larger Bench in
      SBP & Co. (supra), after deliberating at length  with  regard  to  the
      role of the Chief Justice or his  designate,  while  dealing  with  an
      application under Section 11(6) of the Act, has thought it appropriate
      to define what it precisely meant in paragraph  39  of  the  judgment.
      The majority,  if  we  allow  ourselves  to  say  so,  was  absolutely
      conscious that it required to be so stated and hence, it did so.   The
      deliberation was required to be made as the decision in Konkan Railway
      Corporation  Ltd.  v.  Rani  Construction  (P)  Ltd.[16]   where   the
      Constitution Bench had held that an order passed by the Chief  Justice
      under Section 11(6) is an administrative order and not a judicial  one
      and, in that context, the Bench in many a paragraph proceeded to state
      about the role of the Chief Justice or  his  designate.   The  phrases
      which have been emphasized by Mr. Ranjit Kumar, it can be irrefragably
      stated, they cannot be brought to the eminence of ratio  decidendi  of
      the judgment.  The stress laid thereon may be innovative but when  the
      learned Judges themselves have  culled  out  the  ratio  decidendi  in
      paragraph 39, it is extremely difficult to state  that  the  principle
      stated in SBP  &  Co.  (supra)  requires  the  Chief  Justice  or  his
      designate  to  decide  the  controversy  when  raised  pertaining   to
      arbitrability of the disputes.  Or to express an opinion  on  excepted
      matters.  Such an inference by syllogistic process is likely to  usher
      in catastrophe in jurisprudence  developed  in  this  field.   We  are
      disposed to think so as it is not apposite to pick up a line from here
      and there from the judgment or to choose one observation from here  or
      there for raising it to the status of “the ratio decidendi”.  That  is
      most likely to pave one on  the  path  of  danger  and  it  is  to  be
      scrupulously avoided.  The propositions set out in SBP & Co.  (supra),
      in our opinion, have been correctly understood by the two-Judge  Bench
      in Boghara Polyfab Private Limited (supra)  and  the  same  have  been
      appositely approved by the three-Judge Bench in Chloro Controls  India
      Private Limited (supra) and we respectfully concur with the same.   We
      find no substance in the submission that the  said  decisions  require
      reconsideration, for certain observations made in SBP &  Co.  (supra),
      were not noticed.  We may hasten to add that the three-Judge Bench has
      been satisfied that the ratio decidendi of the judgment in SBP  &  Co.
      (supra) is really inhered in paragraph 39 of the judgment.

  38. Before parting with this part of our ratiocination we  may  profitably
      reproduce the following words of Lord Denning which have become  locus
      classicus: -

      “Precedent should be followed only so far as  it  marks  the  path  of
      justice, but you must cut the dead wood and trim off the side branches
      else you will find yourself lost in thickets and branches.  My plea is
      to keep the path to justice clear of obstructions which  could  impede
      it.”

  39. The aforesaid passage has been referred to in Amrit Lal  Machanda  and
      another (supra).

  40. We will be failing in our duty if we  do  not  take  note  of  another
      decision in Booz Allen and Hamilton Inc. v. SBI Home  Finance  Limited
      and others[17] on which Mr. Ranjit Kumar has heavily relied upon.   He
      has drawn our attention to paragraph 34 where the Court has dealt with
      the meaning of the term “arbitrability” and stated that  arbitrability
      has different meanings in different contexts.   The  Court  enumerated
      three  facets  which  relate  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Arbitral
      Tribunal.  In sub-para (ii) of the said paragraph it has  been  stated
      that one facet of arbitrability is whether the disputes are enumerated
      or described in the arbitration agreement as matters to be decided  by
      arbitration or whether the disputes fall under the “excepted  matters”
      excluded from the purview of the arbitration agreement.  On a  careful
      reading of the said judgment we find  that  the  learned  Judges  have
      referred to paragraph 19 of SBP & Co. (supra) and thereafter  referred
      to Section 8 of the Act and opined what the judicial authority  should
      decide.  Thereafter the Court proceeded to deal with nature and  scope
      of the issues  arising  for  consideration  in  an  application  under
      Section 11 of the Act for appointment of the arbitrator and,  in  that
      context, it opined thus: -

      “While considering an application under Section 11  of  the  Act,  the
      Chief Justice or his designate would not embark upon an examination of
      the issue of “arbitrability” or appropriateness of adjudication  by  a
      private forum, once he finds that there was an  arbitration  agreement
      between  or  among  the  parties,  and  would  leave  the   issue   of
      arbitrability for the decision  of  the  Arbitral  Tribunal.   If  the
      arbitrator wrongly holds that the dispute is arbitrable, the aggrieved
      party will have to challenge the award by filing an application  under
      Section 34 of the Act, relying  upon  sub-section  (2)(b)(i)  of  that
      section.”

  41. The said ruling is absolutely in consonance with  the  principle  laid
      down in SBP  &  Co.  (supra).
The  meaning  given  to  arbitrability
      thereafter has been restricted to the adjudication under Section 8 and
      not under Section 11 of the Act.   Thus,  the  reliance  on  the  said
      decision further reflects how the court  has  consistently  understood
      the principles laid down in SBP & Co. (supra).

  42. In view of our  foregoing  analysis  we  sum  up  our  conclusions  as
      follows: -

   i) The decisions rendered in Boghara Polyfab Private Limited (supra)  and
      Chloro Controls India Private Limited (supra) are in accord  with  the
      principles of law stated in SBP & Co. (supra).

  ii) The designated Judge, as perceived  from  the  impugned  order,  while
      dealing with an application under Section 11(6)  of  the  Act,  on  an
      issue raised with regard to the excepted matters, was not justified in
      addressing the same on merits whether it  is  a  dispute  relating  to
      excepted matters under the agreement in question or not.

 iii) The designated Judge  has  fallen  into  error  by  opining  that  the
      disputes raised are not “billing disputes”, for the same  should  have
      been left to be adjudicated by the learned Arbitrator.

  iv) The part of the order impugned that reflects the expression of opinion
      by the designate of the Chief Justice on the merits of  the  disputes,
      being pregnable, deserves to be set aside and is hereby set aside.

  43. In course of hearing we have been apprised that the learned Arbitrator
      has  adjourned  the  matter   to   13.12.2013   for   filing   counter
      affidavit/claim by the appellants and it has  been  submitted  by  Mr.
      Ranjit Kumar that it would not be possible for the appellants to  file
      the counter affidavit/claim or objections to the claim by  that  date.
      Mr. Harish Salve, learned senior counsel appearing for the respondent,
      fairly stated that this Court may take note of the concession given by
      him  that  the  learned  Arbitrator  should  grant  six  weeks’   time
      commencing  13.12.2013  for  filing  the   counter   affidavit/counter
      claim/objections.  In view of the concession given,  the  time  stands
      extended.  We have also been told  that  the  learned  Arbitrator  has
      fixed the schedule for adjudication of the disputes.  We would request
      the learned Arbitrator to re-schedule the dates as  we  have  extended
      the time for filing of counter affidavit/claim by the appellants.

  44. Ex consequenti, the appeal is allowed in part to  the  extent  as  has
      been stated in our conclusions.  There shall be no order as to costs.
                                                             ……………………………….J.
                                                      [Anil R. Dave]


                                                             ……………………………….J.
                                                               [Dipak Misra]

New Delhi;
December 12, 2013.
ITEM NO.1B                         COURT NO.10                      SECTION
IVA

            S U P R E M E   C O U R T   O F   I N D I A
                         RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No(s).29651/2013

(From the judgement and order  dated 22/07/2013  in  AA  No.24/2012  of  The
HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH AT BILASPUR)

ARASMETA CAPTIVE POWER CO. PVT. LTD & AN          Petitioner(s)

                 VERSUS

LAFARGE INDIA P. LTD                                          Respondent(s)

Date: 12/12/2013  This Petition was called on for Judgment today.

For Petitioner(s)      Ms. Bina Gupta, Adv.

For Respondent(s)               M/S Suresh A. Shroff & Co.


       Hon'ble Mr. Justice Dipak Misra pronounced the Judgment of the Bench
comprising Hon'ble Mr. Justice Anil R. Dave and His Lordship.
       Leave granted.
       The Civil Appeal is allowed in part.


       |(Jayant Kumar Arora)                 | |(Sneh Bala Mehra)                 |
|Sr. P.A.                             | |Assistant Registrar               |

       (Signed reportable Judgment is placed on the file)
-----------------------
[1]    AIR 2001 SC 499
[2]    (2013) 1 SCC 641
[3]    (2005) 8 SCC 618
[4]    (2011) 13 SCC 258
[5]    (2009) 1 SCC 267
[6]    (2007) 4 SCC 599
[7]    (1987) 1 SCC 213
[8]    (1901) AC 495
[9]    (1990) 4 SCC 207
[10]   (1882) 7 App Cas 259 : 46 LT 826 (HL)
[11]   (2006) 1 SCC 275
[12]   (2003) 6 SCC 697
[13]   (2012) 10 SCC 1
[14]   (2004) 3 SCC 75
[15]   (2008) 3 SCC 574
[16]   (2002) 2 SCC 388
[17]   (2011) 5 SCC 532

-----------------------
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