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Monday, May 7, 2018

the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,= Single Judge dismissing the application filed under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the ‘Act’) by holding that the agreements between the parties are not inter-connected with the principal agreement dated 05.03.2012 and therefore, the parties cannot be referred to arbitration as per the decision in Sukanya Holdings (P) Ltd. v. Jayesh H. Pandya and another (2003) 5 SCC 531.= both parties have consciously proceeded with the commercial transactions to commission the Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. The first respondent has proceeded to procure the materials, entered into agreement with Juwi India for engineering, installation and commissioning and the sale and purchase agreement with Astonfield, were all the conscious steps taken in the commercial understanding to commission the Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. Even though Juwi India and Astonfield are not parties to the main agreement - Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012), all the agreements/contracts contain clauses referring to the main agreement. It is the duty of the Court to impart the commercial understanding with a “sense of business efficacy” and not by the mere averments made in the plaint. The High Court was not right in refusing to refer the parties on the ground of the allegations of fraud levelled in the plaint. 34. It is only where serious questions of fraud are involved, the arbitration can be refused. In this case, as contended by the appellants 29 there were no serious allegations of fraud; the allegations levelled against Astonfield is that appellant no.1 - Ameet Lalchand Shah misrepresented by inducing the respondents to pay higher price for the purchase of the equipments. There is, of course, a criminal case registered against the appellants in FIR No.30 of 2015 dated 05.03.2015 before the Economic Offences Wing, Delhi. The appellant no.1 – Ameet Lalchand Shah has filed Criminal Writ Petition No.619 of 2016 before the High Court of Delhi for quashing the said FIR. The said writ petition is stated to be pending and therefore, we do not propose to express any views in this regard, lest, it would prejudice the parties. Suffice to say that the allegations cannot be said to be so serious to refuse to refer the parties to arbitration. In any event, the Arbitrator appointed can very well examine the allegations regarding fraud. 35. Main agreement - Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) for leasing and commissioning of Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh contains arbitration clause (Clause 29). As discussed earlier, other three agreements - two agreements between Rishabh and Juwi India (01.02.2012) and Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield are integrally connected with the commercial understanding of commissioning the Solar Project at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and to resolve the dispute 30 between the parties, they are to be referred to arbitration. The order of the High Court declining to refer the parties to arbitration cannot be sustained and is liable to be set aside.

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4690 OF 2018
(Arising out of SLP(C) No.16789 of 2017)
AMEET LALCHAND SHAH AND OTHERS …Appellants
Versus
RISHABH ENTERPRISES AND ANOTHER ...Respondents
J U D G M E N T
R. BANUMATHI, J.
Leave granted.
2. This appeal arises out of the judgment dated 17.04.2017 passed by
the Delhi High Court in FAO(OS) (COMM) No.85 of 2017 in and by which
the Division Bench affirmed the order of the Single Judge dismissing the
application filed under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,
1996 (the ‘Act’) by holding that the agreements between the parties are
not inter-connected with the principal agreement dated 05.03.2012 and
therefore, the parties cannot be referred to arbitration as per the decision
in Sukanya Holdings (P) Ltd. v. Jayesh H. Pandya and another (2003)
5 SCC 531.
3. Brief facts which led to filing of this appeal are as follows:-
1
On 01.02.2012, the first respondent – Rishabh Enterprises (the
‘Rishabh’), the sole proprietorship concern of the second respondent –
Dr. A.M. Singhvi entered into two agreements with M/s Juwi India
Renewable Energies Pvt. Ltd. (Juwi India) namely:- (i) Equipment and
Material Supply Contract for purchase of power generating equipments to
the tune of Rs.8,89,80,730/-; and (ii) Engineering, Installation and
Commissioning Contract for installation and commissioning of the Solar
Plant for Rs.2,20,19,270/-. Both these agreements contain arbitration
clause.
4. The first respondent - Rishabh entered into Sale and Purchase
Agreement dated 05.03.2012 with the second appellant company –
Astonfield Renewables Private Limited (Astonfield) for purchasing CIS
Photovoltaic products to be leased to appellant No.3 – Dante Energy Pvt.
Ltd. (Dante Energy) to be installed at the Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa,
District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. As per the agreement, these products
were valued for Rs.25,16,00,000/-. The second appellant – Astonfield
received Rs.21,40,49,999/- from the respondents under various cheques
issued by the Rishabh. This agreement dated 05.03.2012 does not
contain the arbitration clause. According to the appellants, an amount of
Rs.10,00,00,000/- by cash was paid back to the sons of Dr. A.M. Singhvi
i.e. Rs.2,50,00,000/- to Mr. Avishkar Singhvi and Rs.7,50,00,000/- to
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Mr. Anubhav Singhvi. An Equipment Lease Agreement (ELA) dated
14.03.2012 was entered into between the Rishabh and Dante Energy
whereby Dante Energy agreed to pay the Rishabh Rs.13,50,000/- as
lease rent for March, 2012 and from April, 2012 onwards, the said rent
payable was Rs.28,26,000/-. The Solar Plant at Jhansi has been
commissioned and energized on 16.03.2012.
5. Gist of the agreements are as under:-
S.No. DATE OF
CONTRACT
CONTRACTING
PARTY
PURPOSE OF CONTRACT ARBITRATION
AGREEMENT
1. 01.02.2012 Rishabh
Enterprises
entered into two
agreements with
M/s. Juwi India
Renewable
Energies Pvt.
Ltd.
(i) Rishabh to purchase
power generating
equipments -
Rs.8,89,80,730/-
(ii) Engineering, Installation
and commission of the
plant at Jhansi -
Rs.2,20,19,270/-
Both agreements
contain arbitration
clause - Parties
agreed that the seat
of arbitration shall be
at Bombay
2. 05.03.2012 Rishabh entered
into agreement
with M/s. Aston
Renewables
Pvt. Ltd.
(appellant no.2)
(i) Purchasing CIS
Photovoltaic products to
be leased to Dante Energy
(Appellant no.3) for
energizing solar plant
installed at Jhansi -
Rs.21,40,49,999/-
This agreement
does not contain
arbitration clause.
3. 14.03.2012 Rishabh entered
into agreement
with M/s. Dante
Energy Pvt. Ltd.
(appellant no.3)
Dante agreed to pay
Rs.13,50,000/- as lease rent
for the equipment for March,
2012 and from April, 2012
onwards, Rs.28,26,000/- per
month.
This agreement
contains arbitration
clause. Parties have
agreed that the seat
of arbitration shall be
at Bombay.
6. Dispute arose between the parties when respondents alleged that
appellant No. 3 – Dante Energy has defaulted in payment of rent and that
Astonfield committed fraud by inducing the Rishabh to purchase the
Photovoltaic products by investing huge amount. The respondents have
3
also alleged that the appellants have committed misrepresentation and
criminal breach of trust so far as the equipments procured and leased to
Dante Energy. The respondents have also filed a criminal complaint
before the Economic Offences Wing at Delhi against the appellants,
based on which, FIR No. 30 of 2015 was registered. The appellants
have filed writ petition bearing CWP No.619 of 2016 before the High
Court of Delhi seeking quashing of the said FIR which is sub judice.
There was also an enquiry by the Income Tax Authorities seeking
explanation from the appellants regarding transfer of money to the sons
of Dr. A.M. Singhvi i.e. Rs.2,50,00,000/- to Mr. Avishkar Singhvi and
Rs.7,50,00,000/- to Mr. Anubhav Singhvi. Appellant No.1 – Ameet
Lalchand Shah was summoned by the Income Tax Authorities seeking
explanation with regard to transfer of the said money to the sons of Dr.
A.M. Singhvi.
7. Owing to the dispute between the parties, appellant No.3 – Dante
Energy issued notice dated 13.02.2016 invoking arbitration clause and
nominated Justice Sujata Manohar, former Judge, Supreme Court of
India as the Arbitrator. The respondents namely the Rishabh and its sole
proprietor preferred a Civil Suit (Commercial) No.195 of 2016 before the
High Court on 11.03.2016 against all the appellants levelling various
allegations including fraud and misrepresentation. In the suit, multiple
4
reliefs were claimed:- (i) for a declaration that Sale and Purchase
Agreement dated 05.03.2012; Equipment and Material Supply Contract,
Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract both dated
01.02.2012 and Equipment Lease Agreement dated 14.03.2012 are
vitiated by serious fraud committed by the appellants and that the
agreements are void; (ii) for recovery of a sum of Rs.32,22,80,288/-
which the appellants are jointly and severely liable to pay to the
respondents; (iii) to pay a sum of Rs.19,31,74,804/- as the interest on the
aforesaid amount of Rs.32,22,80,288/- at the rate of 18% per annum
from the date of the agreement i.e. 01.02.2012 till the date of the
realization; and (iv) to pay arrears of lease rent.
8. On receipt of notice and summons in the suit, the
appellants/defendants preferred application I.A. No.4158 of 2016 under
Section 8 of the Act seeking for reference of the dispute between the
parties to arbitration pertaining to all the four agreements. The appellants
sought for reference to arbitration of all the four agreements by
contending that the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) is the
main agreement and that other three agreements are inter-connected as
they are executed between the same parties and the obligations and the
performance of the terms of the agreements are inter-connected viz.
commissioning of the Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District
5
Jhansi, U.P. The respondents Rishabh and Dr. A.M. Singhvi resisted the
application by contending that the suit is for declaration that the
agreements are vitiated due to fraud and misrepresentation and while so,
the matter cannot be referred to arbitration. It was further averred that
the suit is neither concerned about the agreement dated 01.02.2012 with
Juwi India nor concerned about Equipment Lease Agreement
(14.03.2012); whereas the suit is concerned about the false assurances
and fraud played by the appellants Ameet Lalchand Shah and Dante
Energy regarding which a criminal case has also been registered and
hence, the dispute is not referable to arbitration.
9. The learned Single Judge by order dated 15.03.2017 dismissed the
application filed under Section 8 of the Act holding that the Equipment
Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) between Rishabh and Dante Energy
cannot be treated as the mother/principal agreement and the agreements
between the respondents and Astonfield and Juwi India cannot be said to
be ancillary agreements to the same. The learned Single Judge further
held that not only the respondents accuse the appellants of fraud but
appellants also accuse the respondents of fraud, concealment and
suppression of material facts and that there was also a registration of a
criminal case based on the complaint filed by the respondents and also
the enquiry by the Income Tax Authorities regarding transfer of
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Rs.10,00,00,000/- to the sons of Dr. A.M. Singhvi and when there are
such serious issues between the parties, they cannot be referred to
arbitration.
10. Being aggrieved by the dismissal of the application, the appellants
preferred appeal before the Division Bench which came to be dismissed.
The Division Bench pointed out the difference in the language between
Section 8 and Section 45 of the Act and after referring to Chloro
Controls India Private Limited v. Severn Trent Water Purification Inc.
and others (2013) 1 SCC 641, observed that Sukanya Holdings was
not overruled. The Division Bench further pointed out that in spite of
amendment brought in under Section 8, since the main/principal
agreement–Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) does not contain
an arbitration clause, the matter cannot be referred to arbitration. After
referring to A. Ayyasamy v. A. Paramasivam and others (2016) 10
SCC 386, the Division Bench held that in view of serious allegations of
fraud, arbitration of such dispute is excluded.
11. We have heard Mr. Shanti Bhushan, learned senior counsel
appearing for the appellants and Mr. Kapil Sibal, learned senior counsel
appearing for the respondents. Upon consideration of the rival
submissions, the following points arise for consideration in this appeal:-
7
1. Whether all the four agreements viz. – (i) Equipment and
Material Supply Contract (01.02.2012) between Rishabh and
Juwi India; (ii) Engineering, Installation and Commissioning
Contract (01.02.2012) between Rishabh and Juwi India;
(iii) Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) between
Rishabh and Astonfield; and (iv) Equipment Lease Agreement
(14.03.2012) between Rishabh and Dante Energy are interconnected
to refer the parties to arbitration though there is no
arbitration clause in the Sale and Purchase Agreement
(05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield?
2. Whether reference of the dispute between the parties to
arbitration is to be refused on the ground of allegations of fraud
levelled against the appellants by the respondents in the plaint
or whether the agreements ought to be taken as commercial
undertaking of the parties “with a sense of business efficacy”
as held in Ayyasamy case?
12. First, the Rishabh entered into two agreements with Juwi India
dated 01.02.2012:- (i) Equipment and Material Supply Contract; and (ii)
Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract. The first
agreement-Equipment and Material Supply Contract (01.02.2012)
contains arbitration clause (Clause 19.4). The second agreement –
8
Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract (01.02.2012) also
contains arbitration clause (Clause 25). Sale and Purchase Agreement
(05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield for Rs.25,16,00,000/- does
not contain the arbitration clause. The fourth agreement namely
Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) between Rishabh and Dante
Energy contains arbitration clause (Clause 29). A careful perusal of all
the four agreements that is:- (i) Equipment and Material Supply Contract;
(ii) Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract; (iii) Sale and
Purchase Agreement; and (iv) Equipment Lease Agreement shows that
all the four agreements were for the single purpose to commission 2
MWp Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar
Pradesh to be purchased by Rishabh and leasing the equipments to
Dante Energy.
13. The averments in the plaint also prima facie indicate that all the
four agreements are inter-connected and that appellant No.1 – Ameet
Lalchand Shah is stated to be the promoter and controlling man of both
Astonfield as well as Dante Energy. We may usefully refer to the relevant
averments in the plaint which read as under:-
“Defendant No.1, Mr. Ameet Lalchand Shah, is the Promoter of
the Defendant Nos. 2 and 3 Companies. Through his other
group companies, Defendant No.1 is also the controlling
shareholder of Defendant Nos. 2 and 3. He is involved in
running the day to day affairs of the said companies and it is
9
on his instructions and directions and under his overall
control and dictation that the said companies are run. He is
the co-founder and the co-chairman of the “Astonfield Group”
consisting of various companies incorporated both outside of
and in India (www.astonfield.com). Defendant No.1 is the main
brain behind the serious fraud that has been perpetuated upon the
Plaintiffs and the prima donna, mind, body, soul and controlling
entity of all other defendants to this suit. If the corporate veil is
lifted by this Hon’ble Court (and, this is an appropriate case for
lifting of the corporate veil), it will be found that it is, in fact,
Defendant No.1 only who is the real entity behind all the other
defendants and it is on his directions that the others have made,
played their respective roles in and/or participated in the
transactions in question……. Further, Defendant No.1 has also
been corresponding with the plaintiffs on behalf of Defendant Nos.
2 and 3. ……… The said Defendant No.1 is also responsible for
running the day to day affairs of this Company which is run on
his directions and under his control. Defendant No.2 entered
into a Sale and Purchase Agreement with the Plaintiffs, the
transaction under which is vitiated by serious fraud. ……”
Though there are two agreements, individual parties to the Sale and
Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) and the Equipment Lease Agreement
(Dante Energy) are one and the same,. Though Juwi India is not the
defendant, as discussed infra, Equipment and Material Supply Contract
and Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract with Juwi India
itself were for the purpose of commissioning Photovoltaic Solar Plant at
Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.
14. The clauses in the Equipment and Material Supply Contract
(01.02.2012) between Rishabh and Juwi India clearly indicate that the
Rishabh has entered into Lease Agreement with Dante Energy and that
the Rishabh proposes to source Photovoltaic products/panels etc. and
similar Solar Power generating equipments for onward lease of those
10
goods to Dante Energy. The following clauses in the said Equipment and
Material Supply Contract would clearly establish the link of Equipment
and Material Supply Contract with the main Lease Agreement with Dante
Energy:-
“This Equipment and Material Supply contract is between
M/s Rishabh Enterprises………….. (the ‘Client’)
AND
Juwi India Renewable Energies Private Limited ……..(the
‘Supplier’)
Whereas:-
A. The Client (Rishabh) is entering into Lease Agreement
with M/s Dante Energy Pvt. Ltd. (‘Lessee’) and the
Lessee (Dante Energy) has necessary authorizations to
develop, own, operate and commercially exploit a 2
MWp thin-film photovoltaic solar plant at Dongri, Raksa,
District-Jhansi, UP (Plant Site), transmission line from
power plant to the Grid Substation, bay extension work at
the Grid Substation, including all of the infrastructure and
relevant installations required to connect the electricityproducing
equipment to the distribution/transmission grid at
the Grid Substation in UP, India (the ‘Facility’).
B. The Client (Rishabh) proposes to source Photovoltaic
Products/Panels, Inverters, Transformers and similar
solar power generating equipments, etc. for sale of
goods to the Client (Rishabh) and the Client (Rishabh)
will onward lease these goods to M/s Dante Energy Pvt.
Ltd. (Lessee).
C. The Client (Rishabh) wishes to engage the Supplier (Juwi
India) for supply of Equipment (as defined below) and
materials with respect to the development of the Solar Park.
D. The M/s Dante Energy Private Limited (Lessee) will have the
right to inspect the respective goods to be sourced by the
Client (Rishabh) and based on the confirmation from the M/s
Dante Energy Private Limited (Lessee), the respective goods
will be purchased by the Client (Rishabh) for onward sale to
M/s Dante Energy Private Limited (Lessee) and will be
consigned to the project site.
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E. The Supplier (Juwi India) is aggregable to supply the
Equipment and Materials to the Client (Rishabh) in
accordance with the terms of this Contract.”
15. Likewise, clauses in the agreement for Engineering, Installation
and Commissioning Contract between Rishabh and Juwi India
(01.02.2012) also clearly indicate that the agreement was entered into for
the purpose of commissioning Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa,
District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. Clause (A) of the agreement that the
Rishabh has entered into Equipment Lease Agreement with M/s Dante
Energy (Lessee) reiterates that the second agreement with Juwi India for
engineering, installation and commissioning is integrally connected with
Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012). The relevant clauses in the
agreement read as under:-
“This Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract
Agreement is between
M/s Rishabh Enterprises……….. (the ‘Client’)
AND
Juwi India Renewable Energies Pvt. Ltd………(the ‘Contractor’)
Whereas:-
A. The Client (Rishabh) is the owner of certain Photovoltaic
products/Panels, Inverters, Transformers and similar
solar power generating equipments etc. and is entering
into an Equipment Lease Agreement with M/s Dante
Energy Pvt. Ltd. (Lessee).
B. The Lessee (Dante Energy) has necessary authorizations
to develop, own, operate and commercially exploit a 2
MWp thin-film photovoltaic solar plant at Dongri, Raksa,
District-Jhansi, UP (Plant Site), transmission line from
12
power plant to the Grid Substation, bay extension work at
the Grid Substation, including all of the infrastructure and
relevant installations required to connect the electricityproducing
equipment to the distribution/transmission grid at
the Grid Substation in UP, India (the ‘Facility’).
C. The Client (Rishabh) proposes to purchase the Client’s
Equipment as required by the Lessee (Dante Energy) for
onward lease to the Lessee (Dante Energy).
D. The Lessee (Dante Energy) requires the services for design,
engineering, construction, erection, testing, commissioning
and handing over of the Facility to the Client (Rishabh) and
accordingly the Client (Rishabh) has agreed to identity the
competent Contractor (Juwi India) for undertaking the
above work.
E. The Contractor (Juwi India) has represented to the Client
(Rishabh) and the Lessee (Dante Energy) that the
Contractor (Juwi India) has the requisite experience,
expertise, resources and skills for undertaking and
performing all the activities and services required for design
engineering, construction, erection, testing, commissioning
and handing over of the Facility and has submitted an offer
to the Client (Rishabh) in response to the Technical
Specifications as set out by the Client (Rishabh).
F. Based on the offer submitted by the Contractor (Juwi India)
and relying on the Contractor’s representations and
warranties herein, and on the concurrence and approval of
the Lessee (Dante Energy), the Client (Rishabh) wishes to
appoint the Contractor (Juwi India) to undertake the
Services and (except for purchase of the Client’s
Equipments) to perform all the activities and services
required for design, engineering, construction, erecting,
testing, commissioning and handing over of the Facility
and the Contractor (Juwi India) has agreed to such
appointment and to undertake such other duties and
obligations as mentioned in this Contract.”
The above clauses in the very commencement of the agreement with
Juwi India dated 01.02.2012 clearly state that the agreement itself was
for the purpose of commissioning Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri,
Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh for which Dante Energy (Lessee)
has necessary authorizations. The above quoted clauses in the
13
Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract (01.02.2012)
establish that this agreement is inter-connected with Equipment Lease
Agreement (14.03.2012) with Dante Energy.
16. Equally, the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) between
M/s Astonfield and Rishabh is also for the purpose of onward leasing of
goods to Dante Energy as seen from the following clauses:-
“Sale and Purchase Agreement
Astonfiled Renewable Pvt. Ltd. ……….. (Seller) AND Rishabh
Enterprises…….. (Buyer) agree to sell and to purchase the
following products, which are required for onwards leasing of goods
by the Buyer (Rishabh) to Dante Energy Private Limited.……………
(Lessee) under the terms and conditions stated below
(Transaction), effective as of the date of last signature below
(Effective Date):-
1. Buyer:Rishabh Enterprises
2. Seller: Astonfield Renewables Private Limited
3. Transaction: The parties agree that this Transaction shall be
governed by this Sale and Purchase Agreement and its
apendices.
The products under this Agreement shall be used for the 2
MWp grid connected solar PV power project being set up by the
Lessee (Dante Energy) at Dongri, Raksa, District-Jhansi, Uttar
Pradesh (Plant Site)
The Buyer (Rishabh) is purchasing the above goods for
onward supply/lease to lessee (Dante Energy). Lessee (Dante
Energy) will have the right to inspect the respective goods and
based on the confirmation from the Lessee (Dante Energy), the
respective goods will be purchased by the Buyer (Rishabh) for
onward sale to Lessee (Dante Energy) and will be consigned to
the Project Site.”
Though the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) does not have
any arbitration clause, by the above clauses, it is clearly linked with the
14
main agreement - Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012). Sale and
Purchase Agreement was entered into between Astonfield and Rishabh
only for the purpose of onward transmission of leasing of the goods by
Rishabh to Dante Energy. There is no merit in the contention that the
Sale and Purchase Agreement is not connected with the Equipment
Lease Agreement with Dante Energy.
17. Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) between Rishabh and
Dante Energy is only a follow-up of all the above three agreements as is
clear from the various clauses in the Equipment Lease Agreement. The
relevant clauses of Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) are as
under:-
“Equipment Lease Agreement
M/s Rishabh Enterprises………. (Lessor) AND M/s Dante
Energy Pvt. Ltd……….. (Lessee) is setting up a 2 MWp grid
connected solar PV power project at Dongri, Raksa, DistrictJhansi,
Uttar Pradesh (Plant Site)……
Whereas the Lessor (Rishabh) is the owner of certain
Photovoltaic products/Panels, Inverters, Transformers and
similar solar power generating equipments etc. (herein
referred to as “Equipments”), more particularly described in
the First Schedule hereunder written.
And whereas the Lessee (Dante Energy) has necessary
authorizations to develop, own, operate and commercially exploit a
2 MWp thin-film photovoltaic solar plant on the Site (“SPY Power
Plant”), transmission line from power plant to the Grid Substation,
bay extension work at the Grid Substation, including all of the
15
infrastructure and relevant installations required to connect the
electricity-producing equipment to the distribution/transmission grid
at the Grid Substation in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India as specified in
the Second Schedule (“Facility”) and for this purpose, they are in
requirement of the Equipments as mentioned in the First Schedule
hereunder written.
And whereas the Lessee (Dante Energy) being desirous of
obtaining from the Lessor (Rishabh) on lease the specified nature
of Equipments more particularly described in the First Schedule
hereunder written, has approached the Lessor (Rishabh) and has
requested the Lessor (Rishabh) to lease out the Equipments to the
Lessee (Dante Energy) on the terms, covenants and conditions
herein contained/specified.
…………
Article 4
Delivery, Commencement and disbursement:
(i) It is expressly understood by the Lessee (Dante Energy) and
Lessor (Rishabh) that in the present case, the respective
Equipments are being sourced from the supplier of Solar
Photovoltaic Modular-located in the State of Maharashtra i.e.
Astonfield Renewables Private Limited and supplier of other
solar power generating equipments like inverters,
transformers, etc. in the State of Karnataka i.e. Juwi India
Renewable Energies Private Limited. These goods have
been inspected by the Lessee (Dante Energy) and are found
suitable for its commercial use of the same.
(ii) Pursuant to this lease agreement, the respective
Equipments, will be purchased by the Lessor (Rishabh) from
the respective Supplier and accordingly, the Equipments will
be consigned directly to the project site in the State of Uttar
Pradesh. Accordingly, in the present case, the delivery of
respective Equipments will be effected by Endorsement of
the consignment Note in the favour of Lessee (Dante
Energy) by the Lessor (Rishabh).
………
(v) Irrespective of how and by whom the delivery is
effected, it is hereby agreed that the entire risk, cost or
any outgoing pertaining to the said delivery and
installation shall be at the cost and risk of the Lessor
(Rishabh).”
The above extracted clauses clearly demonstrate that all the four
agreements are inter-connected. Clause (v) in Article 4 in the Equipment
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Lease Agreement that delivery and installation shall be at the cost and
risk of Rishabh (Lessor) is clearly linked with the Engineering, Installation
and Commissioning Contract between Rishabh and Juwi India.
18. The High Court placed reliance upon Sukanya Holdings for
dismissal of the application filed under Section 8 of the Act. In Sukanya
Holdings, the suit was filed for dissolution of the partnership firm and
accounts and inter alia challenged the conveyance deed executed by the
partnership firm in favour of M/s West End Gymkhana Limited. An
application filed under Section 8 of the Act was opposed by respondent
No.1 thereon by contending that the subject matter of the suit was not
between the contracting parties and that the reliefs claimed are not only
against respondents No. 1 and 2 who are the contracting parties but are
claimed against the remaining twenty-three parties who are the
purchasers/tenants of disputed flats. This Court held that if all the parties
to the suit are not parties to the agreement then the matter cannot be
referred to arbitration since there is no provision in the Act for partly
referring the dispute to arbitration. This Court noted that the buyers were
not parties to the arbitration agreement and that the non-signatories
cannot be referred to arbitration. In Sukanya Holdings in paras (15) and
(16), this Court held as under:-
17
“15. The relevant language used in Section 8 is: “in a matter which
is the subject of an arbitration agreement”. The court is required to
refer the parties to arbitration. Therefore, the suit should be in
respect of “a matter” which the parties have agreed to refer and
which comes within the ambit of arbitration agreement. Where,
however, a suit is commenced — “as to a matter” which lies outside
the arbitration agreement and is also between some of the parties
who are not parties to the arbitration agreement, there is no
question of application of Section 8. The words “a matter” indicate
that the entire subject-matter of the suit should be subject to
arbitration agreement.
16. The next question which requires consideration is — even if
there is no provision for partly referring the dispute to arbitration,
whether such a course is possible under Section 8 of the Act. In our
view, it would be difficult to give an interpretation to Section 8 under
which bifurcation of the cause of action, that is to say, the subjectmatter
of the suit or in some cases bifurcation of the suit between
parties who are parties to the arbitration agreement and others is
possible. This would be laying down a totally new procedure not
contemplated under the Act. If bifurcation of the subject-matter of a
suit was contemplated, the legislature would have used appropriate
language to permit such a course. Since there is no such indication
in the language, it follows that bifurcation of the subject-matter of an
action brought before a judicial authority is not allowed.”
19. Mr. Sibal, learned senior counsel for the respondents submitted
that the High Court rightly relied upon Sukanya Holdings as it relates to
Part-I of the Act that the parties who are not signatories to the arbitration
agreement (in this case, Astonfield under Sale and Purchase Agreement)
cannot be referred to arbitration. It was further submitted that Chloro
Controls arises under Part-II of the Act and was rightly distinguished by
the High Court and Sukanya Holdings was not overruled by Chloro
Controls and hence, the appellants cannot rely upon Chloro Controls.
It was contended that the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012)
under which huge money was parted with, is the main agreement having
18
no arbitration clause cannot be referred to arbitration. It was submitted
that the subject matter of the suit cannot be bifurcated between the
parties to arbitration agreement and others.
20. In Chloro Controls, this Court was dealing with the scope and
interpretation of Section 45 of the Act - Part-II of the Act and in that
context, discussed the scope of relevant principles on the basis of which
a non-signatory party also could be bound by the arbitration agreement.
Under Section 45 of the Act, an applicant seeking reference of disputes
to arbitration can either be a party to the arbitration agreement or any
person claiming through or under such party. Section 45 uses the
expression “….at the request of one of the parties or any person claiming
through or under him…..” includes non-signatory parties who can be
referred to arbitration provided they satisfy the requirements of
Sections 44 and 45 read with Schedule I of the Act. In para (73) of
Chloro Controls, this Court held as under:-
“73. A non-signatory or third party could be subjected to arbitration
without their prior consent, but this would only be in exceptional
cases. The court will examine these exceptions from the touchstone
of direct relationship to the party signatory to the arbitration
agreement, direct commonality of the subject-matter and the
agreement between the parties being a composite transaction. The
transaction should be of a composite nature where performance of
the mother agreement may not be feasible without aid, execution
and performance of the supplementary or ancillary agreements, for
achieving the common object and collectively having bearing on the
dispute. Besides all this, the court would have to examine whether
a composite reference of such parties would serve the ends of
19
justice. Once this exercise is completed and the court answers the
same in the affirmative, the reference of even non-signatory parties
would fall within the exception afore-discussed.” (Underlining
added)
21. In a case like the present one, though there are different
agreements involving several parties, as discussed above, it is a single
commercial project namely operating a 2 MWp Photovoltaic Solar Plant
at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. Commissioning of the
Solar Plant, which is the commercial understanding between the parties
and it has been effected through several agreements. The agreement –
Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) for commissioning of the
Solar Plant is the principal/main agreement. The two agreements of
Rishabh with Juwi India:- (i) Equipment and Material Supply Contract
(01.02.2012); and (ii) Engineering, Installation and Commissioning
Contract (01.02.2012) and the Rishabh’s Sale and Purchase Agreement
with Astonfield (05.03.2012) are ancillary agreements which led to the
main purpose of commissioning the Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri,
Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh by Dante Energy (Lessee). Even
though, the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) between
Rishabh and Astonfield does not contain arbitration clause, it is integrally
connected with the commissioning of the Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa,
District Jhansi, U.P. by Dante Energy. Juwi India, even though, not a
party to the suit and even though, Astonfield and appellant No.1 – Ameet
20
Lalchand Shah are not signatories to the main agreement viz. Equipment
Lease Agreement (14.03.2012), it is a commercial transaction integrally
connected with commissioning of Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri,
Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. Be it noted, as per clause(v) of Article 4,
parties have agreed that the entire risk, cost of the delivery and
installation shall be at the cost of the Rishabh (Lessor). Here again, we
may recapitulate that engineering and installation is to be done by Juwi
India. What is evident from the facts and intention of the parties is to
facilitate procurement of equipments, sale and purchase of equipments,
installation and leasing out the equipments to Dante Energy. The dispute
between the parties to various agreements could be resolved only by
referring all the four agreements and the parties thereon to arbitration.
22. Parties to the agreements namely Rishabh and Juwi India:- (i)
Equipment and Material Supply Agreement; and (ii) Engineering,
Installation and Commissioning Contract and the parties to Sale and
Purchase Agreement between Rishabh and Astonfield are one and the
same as that of the parties in the main agreement namely Equipment
Lease Agreement (14.03.2012). All the four agreements are interconnected.
This is a case where several parties are involved in a single
commercial project (Solar Plant at Dongri) executed through several
agreements/contracts. In such a case, all the parties can be covered by
21
the arbitration clause in the main agreement i.e. Equipment Lease
Agreement (14.03.2012).
23. Since all the three agreements of Rishabh with Juwi India and
Astonfield had the purpose of commissioning the Photovoltaic Solar Plant
project at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, the High Court
was not right in saying that the Sale and Purchase Agreement
(05.03.2012) is the main agreement. The High Court, in our view, erred
in not keeping in view the various clauses in all the three agreements
which make them as an integral part of the principal agreement namely
Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) and the impugned order of the
High Court cannot be sustained.
Amendment to Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
24. Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 has brought in
amendment to Section 8 to make it in line with Section 45 of the Act. In
view of the observation made in Sukanya Holdings, Law Commission
has made recommendation for amendment to Section 8 of the Act.
Consequent to 2015 Amendment Act, Section 8 is amended as under:-
“8. Power to refer parties to arbitration where there is an
arbitration agreement. - (1) A judicial authority before which an
action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration
agreement shall, if a party to the arbitration agreement or any
person claiming through or under him, so applies not later than
when the date of submitting his first statement on the substance of
the dispute, then, notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of
22
the Supreme Court or any court refer the parties to arbitration
 unless it finds that prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists.
(2) The application referred to in sub-section (1) shall not be
entertained unless it is accompanied by the original arbitration
agreement or a duly certified copy thereof
Provided that where the original arbitration agreement or a certified
copy thereof is not available with the party applying for reference to
arbitration under sub-section (1), and the said agreement or
certified copy is retained by the other party to that agreement, then,
the party so applying shall file such application along with a copy of
the arbitration agreement and a petition praying the Court to call
upon the other party to produce the original arbitration agreement
or its duly certified copy before that Court.
(3) Notwithstanding that an application has been made under
sub-section (1) and that the issue is pending before the judicial
authority, an arbitration may be commenced or continued and an
arbitral award made.
25. “Principally four amendments to Section 8(1) have been introduced
by the 2015 Amendments - (i) the relevant "party" that is entitled to apply
seeking reference to arbitration has been clarified/amplified to include
persons claiming "through or under" such a party to the arbitration
agreement; (ii) scope of examination by the judicial authority is restricted
to a finding whether "no valid arbitration agreement exists" and the nature
of examination by the judicial authority is clarified to be on a "prima facie"
basis; (iii) the cut-off date by which an application under Section 8 is to be
presented has been defined to mean "the date of" submitting the first
statement on the substance of the dispute; and (iv) the amendments are
expressed to apply notwithstanding any prior judicial precedent. The
proviso to Section 8(2) has been added to allow a party that does not
23
possess the original or certified copy of the arbitration agreement on
account of it being retained by the other party, to nevertheless apply
under Section 8 seeking reference, and call upon the other party to
produce the same.” (Ref: Justice R.S. Bachawat’s Law of Arbitration
and Conciliation, Sixth Edition, Vol. I (Sections 1 to 34) at page 695
published by LexisNexis).
26. Amendment to Section 8 by the Act, 2015 are to be seen in the
background of the recommendations set out in the 246th Law
Commission Report. In its 246th Report, Law Commission, while
recommending the amendment to Section 8, made the following
observation/comment:-
“LC Comment: The words “such of the parties…. to the arbitration
agreement” and proviso (i) of the amendment have been proposed
in the context of the decision of the Supreme Court in Sukanya
Holdings Pvt. Ltd. v. Jayesh H. Pandya and Anr. (2003) 5 SCC 531,
- in cases where all the parties to the dispute are not parties to the
arbitration agreement, the reference is to be rejected only where
such parties are necessary parties to the action – and not if they
are only proper parties, or are otherwise legal strangers to the
action and have been added only to circumvent the arbitration
agreement. Proviso (ii) of the amendment contemplates a two-step
process to be adopted by a judicial authority when considering an
application seeking the reference of a pending action to arbitration.
The amendment envisages that the judicial authority shall not refer
the parties to arbitration only if it finds that there does not exist an
arbitration agreement or that it is null and void. If the judicial
authority is of the opinion that prima facie the arbitration agreement
exists, then it shall refer the dispute to arbitration, and leave the
existence of the arbitration agreement to be finally determined by
the arbitral tribunal. However, if the judicial authority concludes that
the agreement does not exist, then the conclusion will be final and
not prima facie. The amendment also envisages that there shall be
24
a conclusive determination as to whether the arbitration agreement
is null and void.
(2) The application referred to in sub-section (1) shall not be
entertained unless it is accompanied by the original arbitration
agreement or a duly certified copy thereof or a copy accompanied
by an affidavit calling upon the other party to produce the original
arbitration agreement or duly certified thereof in circumstances
where the original arbitration agreement or duly certified copy is
retained only by the other party.
LC Comment: In many transactions involving Government bodies
and smaller market players, the original/duly certified copy of the
arbitration agreement is only retained by the former. This
amendment would ensure that the latter class is not prejudiced in
any manner by virtue of the same” (Ref: 246th Law Commission
Report, Government of India)
27. The language of amendment to Section 8 of the Act is clear that
the amendment to Section 8(1) of the Act would apply notwithstanding
any prayer, judgment, decree or order of the Supreme Court or any other
Court. The High Court laid emphasis upon the word ".....unless it finds
that prima-facie no valid agreement exists". The High Court observed
that there is no arbitration agreement between Astonfield and Rishabh.
After referring to Sukanya Holdings and the amended Section 8 and
Section 45 of the Act, the High Court pointed out the difference in
language of Section 8 and Section 45 of the Act. The High Court
distinguished between Sukanya Holdings and Chloro Controls, and
observed that Sukanya Holdings was not overruled by Chloro
Controls. In para (23) of the impugned judgment, it was held as under:-
"23. ......The change in Section 8 is that the Court is to - in cases
where arbitration agreements are relied on- to refer the disputes in
the suit, to arbitration, "notwithstanding any judgment, decree or
25
order of the Supreme Court or any Court, refer the parties to
arbitration unless it finds that prima facie no valid arbitration
agreement exists". The Court is of opinion that Sukanya is not per
se overruled, because the exercise of whether an arbitration
agreement exists between the parties, in relation to the disputes
that are the subject matter of the suit, has to be carried out. If there
are causes of action that cannot be subjected to arbitration, or the
suit involves adjudication of the role played by parties who are not
signatories to the arbitration agreement, it has to continue because
"prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists" between such
non parties and others, who are parties."
28. Re: contention: allegations of fraud disable an arbitration:- Yet
another ground based on which the High Court declined to refer the
parties to arbitration is the allegations of fraud levelled by
respondents/plaintiffs in their plaint against Astonfield and appellant no.1.
The High Court held that the respondents levelled allegations of fraud
against the appellants which raise serious triable issues of fraud and
hence, the matter cannot be referred to arbitration.
29. According to the respondents, it is not a case where “fraud is
alleged merely to disable an arbitration”. Mr. Sibal, learned senior
counsel for respondents contended that the plaint is based on the
averments that from inception, the intention of appellants/defendants was
to cheat the respondents and the respondents were made to part with
large sums of money on the basis of the misrepresentation made by the
appellants. It was submitted that alternative prayer in the plaint will not
convert the fraud suit to a regulatory suit because of alternative prayer
since alternative prayer – ‘lease rental’ has been projected only as an
26
alternative remedy. Placing reliance upon Arundhati Mishra (Smt) v. Sri
Ram Charitra Pandey (1994) 2 SCC 29, it was submitted that it is
settled law that it is open to the parties to raise mutually inconsistent
pleas and the relief could be granted on the alternative plea so raised.
30. Refuting the above contentions, Mr. Shanti Bhushan, learned
senior counsel for the appellants placed reliance upon Ayyasamy case
to contend that there are no serious allegations in the plaint to decline
reference of the matter to arbitration. It was submitted that mere
allegations of fraud were not sufficient to detract from the performance of
the obligation of the parties in terms of the agreement and refer the
matter to arbitration.
31. Under the Act, an arbitration agreement means an agreement
which is enforceable in law and the jurisdiction of the arbitrator is on the
basis of an arbitration clause contained in the arbitration agreement.
However, in a case where the parties alleged that the arbitration
agreement is vitiated on account of fraud, the Court may refuse to refer
the parties to arbitration. In Ayyasamy case, this Court held that mere
allegation of fraud is not a ground to nullify the effect of arbitration
agreement between the parties and arbitration clause need not be
avoided and parties can be relegated to arbitration where merely simple
allegations of fraud touched upon internal affairs of parties is levelled.
27
Justice A.K. Sikri observed that it is only in those cases where the Court
finds that there are serious allegations of fraud which make a virtual case
of criminal offence and where there are complicated allegations of fraud
then it becomes necessary that such complex issues can be decided only
by the civil court on the appreciation of evidence that needs to be
produced. In para (25) of Ayyasamy case, Justice Sikri held as under:-
“25…..Therefore, the inquiry of the Court, while dealing with an
application under Section 8 of the Act, should be on the aforesaid
aspect viz. whether the nature of dispute is such that it cannot be
referred to arbitration, even if there is an arbitration agreement
between the parties. When the case of fraud is set up by one of the
parties and on that basis that party wants to wriggle out of that
arbitration agreement, a strict and meticulous inquiry into the
allegations of fraud is needed and only when the Court is satisfied
that the allegations are of serious and complicated nature that it
would be more appropriate for the Court to deal with the subjectmatter
rather than relegating the parties to arbitration, then alone
such an application under Section 8 should be rejected.”
32. While concurring with Justice Sikri, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
pointed out that the duty of the Court is to impart “sense of business
efficacy” to the commercial transactions pointing out that mere
allegations of fraud were not sufficient to decline to refer the parties to
arbitration. In para (48) of Ayyasamy case, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
held as under:-
“48. The basic principle which must guide judicial decisionmaking
is that arbitration is essentially a voluntary assumption of
an obligation by contracting parties to resolve their disputes
through a private tribunal. The intent of the parties is expressed in
the terms of their agreement. Where commercial entities and
persons of business enter into such dealings, they do so with a
28
knowledge of the efficacy of the arbitral process. The
commercial understanding is reflected in the terms of the
agreement between the parties. The duty of the court is to
impart to that commercial understanding a sense of business
efficacy.” (Underlining added)
33. When we apply the aforesaid principles to the facts of the present
case, as discussed earlier, both parties have consciously proceeded with
the commercial transactions to commission the Photovoltaic Solar Plant
at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. The first respondent has proceeded
to procure the materials, entered into agreement with Juwi India for
engineering, installation and commissioning and the sale and purchase
agreement with Astonfield, were all the conscious steps taken in the
commercial understanding to commission the Solar Plant at Dongri,
Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. Even though Juwi India and Astonfield are not
parties to the main agreement - Equipment Lease Agreement
(14.03.2012), all the agreements/contracts contain clauses referring to
the main agreement. It is the duty of the Court to impart the commercial
understanding with a “sense of business efficacy” and not by the mere
averments made in the plaint. The High Court was not right in refusing to
refer the parties on the ground of the allegations of fraud levelled in the
plaint.
34. It is only where serious questions of fraud are involved, the
arbitration can be refused. In this case, as contended by the appellants
29
there were no serious allegations of fraud; the allegations levelled against
Astonfield is that appellant no.1 - Ameet Lalchand Shah misrepresented
by inducing the respondents to pay higher price for the purchase of the
equipments. There is, of course, a criminal case registered against the
appellants in FIR No.30 of 2015 dated 05.03.2015 before the Economic
Offences Wing, Delhi. The appellant no.1 – Ameet Lalchand Shah has
filed Criminal Writ Petition No.619 of 2016 before the High Court of Delhi
for quashing the said FIR. The said writ petition is stated to be pending
and therefore, we do not propose to express any views in this regard,
lest, it would prejudice the parties. Suffice to say that the allegations
cannot be said to be so serious to refuse to refer the parties to arbitration.
In any event, the Arbitrator appointed can very well examine the
allegations regarding fraud.
35. Main agreement - Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) for
leasing and commissioning of Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District
Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh contains arbitration clause (Clause 29). As
discussed earlier, other three agreements - two agreements between
Rishabh and Juwi India (01.02.2012) and Sale and Purchase Agreement
(05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield are integrally connected
with the commercial understanding of commissioning the Solar Project at
Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and to resolve the dispute
30
between the parties, they are to be referred to arbitration. The order of
the High Court declining to refer the parties to arbitration cannot be
sustained and is liable to be set aside. The four agreements namely:- (i)
Equipment and Material Supply Contract (01.02.2012) between Rishabh
and Juwi India; (ii) Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract
(01.02.2012) between Rishabh and Juwi India; (iii) Sale and Purchase
Agreement (05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield; and (iv)
Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) between Rishabh and Dante
Energy and the parties thereon are referred to arbitration.
36. As per the terms of Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012),
appellant No.3 - Dante Energy has to pay lease rentals of Rs.13,67,500/-
for the month of March, 2012 and with effect from April, 2012 to pay
lease rentals of Rs.28,26,000/- per month for a period of fifteen years.
Learned Senior Counsel for respondents, Mr. Sibal has submitted that
appellant No.3 - Dante Energy has not paid the rentals as per the terms
and conditions of Equipment Lease Agreement. Mr. Sibal has also drawn
our attention that Astonfield Solar Rajasthan Pvt. Ltd. has transferred
99.99% of its shares to ARRL (Mauritius) Ltd. (Holding Company) and
Ameet Lalchand Shah has only one share (0.01%). Our attention was
also drawn to Astonfield Solar Gujarat Pvt. Ltd., which has also
transferred 99.99% of its shares to ARRL (Mauritius) Ltd. (Holding
31
Company) and that Ameet Lalchand Shah has only one share (0.01%). It
was also submitted that the appellant No.1 - Ameet Lalchand Shah was
subsequently removed from the Board of Directors of Astonfield Solar
Gujarat Pvt. Ltd. by the shareholders by EGM dated 17.12.2016. We do
not propose to go into the merits of this contention; however, keeping in
view that Astonfield has transferred its shareholdings qua Rajasthan and
Gujarat Solar Power units, in our view, the interest of the respondents is
to be protected till the matter is resolved by the arbitrator by directing the
appellants to pay the arrears of lease rent and also to pay the future
lease rent for the equipments at the rate of Rs.28,26,000/- per month.
37. The impugned order of the High Court is set aside and this appeal
is allowed. All the aforesaid four agreements and the parties thereon are
referred to arbitration. By notice dated 13.02.2016, appellants have
nominated Justice Sujata Manohar, former Judge of the Supreme Court
of India as their Arbitrator. We leave it open to the parties as to the
choice of the Arbitrator. If the parties are not in a position to arrive at
consensus as to the Arbitrator, the parties shall approach the appropriate
High Court for appointment of the Arbitrator. Appellants are jointly and
severely liable to pay the arrears of lease rent and also to pay the future
lease rent for the equipments of the PV Solar Power Plant at Dongri,
Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh at the rate of Rs.28,26,000/- per
32
month till the disposal of the arbitration proceedings. Such payment of
lease rent shall be without prejudice to the contentions of both parties
and shall be subject to the final outcome of arbitration proceedings.
Since parties are referred to arbitration, commercial Suit No.85 of 2017
filed by the respondents on the file of Delhi High Court shall stand
disposed of. No cost.
.…….…………...………J.
 [RANJAN GOGOI]
…………….……………J.
 [R. BANUMATHI]
New Delhi;
May 03, 2018
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