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Petition filed without annexing the award under challenge and without vakalatnama or statement of truth is invalid : High Court of Delhi

The High Court of Delhi, through learned judge, Justice Vibhu Bakru  in the case of Ircon vs Reacon (O.M.P. (COMM) 488/2019 & I.A. No. 16261/2019, 16263/2019) observed that Petition filed without annexing the award under challenge and without vakalatnama or statement of truth is invalid

BRIEF FACTS: The petitioner had filed the present petition under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 impugning an arbitral award dated 10.06.2019 delivered by an Arbitral Tribunal consisting of a Sole Arbitrator. The impugned award was rendered in the context of the disputes that have arisen between the parties in connection with an agreement dated 16.06.2010. The respondent opposed the present petition on the ground that it is barred by limitation. The respondent submitted that the petition was filed after the expiry of a period of three months from the date of receipt of the impugned award. 

FINDINGS OF THE COURT: The court observed that the initial filing was only seventy-three pages. The petition was not accompanied by a copy of the award or any other document. It was also not accompanied by a statement of truth which was mandatorily required. The petition as subsequently filed on 24.10.2019 spanned over 1325 pages including documents. It was, thus, apparent that the entire framework of the petition was changed. The court held that there was merit in the respondent’s contention that the petition as filed on 24.10.2019 cannot be considered as the same petition that was filed on 13.09.2019. The court observed that it was material to note that the petition as filed on 13.09.2019 was not accompanied by the impugned award or the vakalatnama. The court remarked that the decision of the Coordinate Bench of this Court in Union of India v. Bharat Biotech International Limited was squarely applicable in the facts of this case and, therefore, the filing as on 13.09.2019 cannot be considered as a valid filing. In the circumstances, 24.10.2019 is required to be considered as the first date of filing of the present petition. The court held that the delay in filing the petition was, thus, beyond the period that can be condoned by this Court. The petition was, accordingly, dismissed as barred by limitation. 

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – AMRUTHA K

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