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  If a case is barred under the timelines contemplated under section 34(3) ofThe Arbitration Act, 1940 then the petitioner cannot be permitted to take recourse the benefit of section 14 of The Limitation Act: Calcutta High Court

The Judgment in the case of Suresh Kumar Agarwal vs L & T Finance Ltd (AP/214/2017) was served by The Hon’ble JUSTICE MOUSHUMI BHATTACHARYA

FACTS OF THE CASE:
This application has been filed by the petitioner/award- debtor in a petition for setting aside of an Award dated 6th March, 2010. The petition for setting aside of the impugned Award was filed in this Court on 23rd March, 2017, which was beyond the timelines provided under section 34(3) of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The petitioner hence prays for excluding the period from 21st May, 2010 to 4th March, 2017 which, according to the petitioner, was spent in pursuing proceedings filed before the learned City Civil Court, Calcutta for setting aside of the Award dated 6th March, 2010. The petitioner seeks to take recourse to section 14 of The Limitation Act, 1963 for the said purpose.

The brief facts leading to the present application are as follows : The respondent/award-holder, financed the purchase of two vehicles by the petitioner under a loan agreement executed between the parties on 26th October, 2006. The respondent invoked the arbitration clause in the Agreement on 12th November, 2008 and took possession of the vehicles on 10th December, 2008. The petitioner filed a Title Suit being T.S. No. 2005 of 2008 for declaration and injunction in the learned City Civil Court, Calcutta which was subsequently converted to an application under section 9 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in January, 2009. The impugned Award was passed on 6th March, 2010. By the said Award, the respondent financier (claimant before the Arbitrator) was awarded a sum of Rs.10,49,284/- towards the instalments due, future loan instalments, compensation etc. The petitioner challenged the Award by way of an application under section 34 of the 1996 Act on 21st May, 2010 before the City Civil Court within the period of limitation provided under section 34 (3) of the Act. The case of the petitioner is that the impugned Award was served on the petitioner on 29th March, 2010

JUDGEMENT :
The court after going through the facts and circumstances held that the present application under section 34 of the 1996 Act which was filed in this Court on 23rd March, 2017 is barred under the timelines contemplated under section 34(3) of the Act and the petitioner cannot be permitted to take recourse the benefit of section 14 of The Limitation Act.
AP No. 214 of 2017 is accordingly dismissed without any order as to costs. Since it has been held that the petitioner is not entitled to the exclusion of the period claimed in the application as stated above, AP No.207 of 2017 for setting aside of the impugned Award dated 6th March, 2010 is also dismissed without any order as to costs.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY AKANKSHA Click Here To View Judgement

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