Enforcement of arbitral award in favour of Switzerland based trading company Glencore upheld

High Court of Delhi: In a petition filed by a Switzerland based company for the enforcement of a foreign arbitral award against the respondent rendered by a Tribunal constituted under London Court of International Arbitration, a Single Judge Bench comprising Vibhu Bakhru, J. accepted the claims of petitioner and refused to decline the enforcement of the award.

The dispute between the two parties was with respect to an agreement to supply of coal of Indonesian origin by petitioner to the respondent which the respondent had breached by refusing to accept deliveries of subsequent consignments. The respondents argued that acceptance of delivery of shipments depended on the quality of the initial consignments and since the quality had been compromised, hence the refusal to accept delivery.

The respondents also contended that the award needed to be set aside as per Section 48 of the Arbitration Act, 1996 which provides for conditions for enforcement of foreign awards, since they were unable to present their case on account of the arbitral tribunal refusing their request to produce documents; that the amount of damages was calculated without application of mind; and that the tribunal permitting the petitioner to place documents on record at the pre-hearing stage was opposed to the fundamental policy of Indian law.

The petitioners, on the other hand, stated that these issues were within the domain of the arbitral tribunal and were not amenable to judicial review. The Court in its findings held that the respondent’s request for production of documents had been declined since they were not material and relevant; the damages that had been granted were in compliance with the law in force in UK under the Sale of Goods Act and in India under the Indian Contract Act and a number of judicial decisions. Therefore, the procedure adopted by the tribunal and the damages awarded were upheld. [Glencore International AG v. Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 8932, decided on 03.07.2017]

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