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Further extension can be sought for the Arbitral tribunal to prepare and announce the award, if the records are voluminous: Delhi High Court

Arbitration and mediation is a very effective and efficient tools for resolving disputes that arise in between the parties while carrying out the their agreed upon terms and duties, however it also a very time consuming especially when large volumes of records are involved to be considered to make a just, unbiased decision. This was held in the judgment passed by a single judge bench comprising HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SURESH KUMAR KAIT, in the matter of PATEL ENGINEERING LIMITED V. HIMACHAL PRADESH POWER CORPORATION LIMITED [O.M.P.(MISC.)(COMM.) 137/2021], dealt with an issue where the petitioner filed a petition under Section 29 A(4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 seeking extension of mandate of the arbitral tribunal adjudicating the disputes between the parties.

Petitioner is a leading Civil Engineering and Construction company and the respondent is a public limited company had entered into a Contract dated 09.09.2009 with regard to a project for construction of diversion barrage, power intake, desanding arrangements and gates & hoisting arrangements complete in all respects for Sawra Kuddu Hydroelectric Project (111 MW) located in District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. During execution of project certain disputes arose between the parties, for resolution of which an arbitral tribunal was constituted on 25.03.2019.

According to petitioner, the period of arbitral tribunal was thereafter extended for 18 months and the said period expired on 24.09.2020. Further submitted that arguments were concluded and Award was reserved on 22.04.2021, however, since the record is voluminous, therefore, further extension is sought for the Arbitral tribunal to prepare and announce the award.

Counsel appearing on behalf of respondent, accepted the notice and submitted that there was no objection if the time for making the award is extended.

After hearing both the parties The Hon’ble Delhi High Court allowed the petition and held Considering that since the proceedings and arguments before the Arbitral tribunal have already concluded, thereby it is ordered to extend the mandate and time of the Arbitral Tribunal upto 30.09.2021 for preparing and pronouncing the Award the Arbitral Tribunal upto 30.09.2021 for preparing and pronouncing the Award.

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Judgement reviewed by – Vaishnavi Raman

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