Jaycee Housing Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. Versus Registrar (General), Orissa High Court, Cuttack & Ors.

Jaycee Housing Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. Versus Registrar (General), Orissa High Court,  Cuttack & Ors.

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  6876 OF 2022
Jaycee Housing Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.        ...Appellant(S)
Versus
Registrar (General), Orissa High Court,         …Respondent(S)
Cuttack & Ors. 
With 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6878 OF 2022
With 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6877 OF 2022
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
common judgment and order dated 12.04.2022 passed by
the  High Court  of Orissa  at  Cuttack  in  respective  writ
petitions, by which, the Division Bench of the High Court
has dismissed the respective writ petitions in which the
appellants herein – original writ petitioners challenged a
1
notification   dated   13.11.2020,   issued   by   the   State   of
Odisha through its Principal Secretary, Law Department in
establishing the Court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division)
as   Commercial   Courts   for   the   purposes   of   exercising
jurisdiction and powers under the Commercial Courts Act,
2015,   the   original   writ   petitioners   have   preferred   the
present appeals. 
2. In exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 and subsection (1) of Section 9 read with Section 10 of the Odisha
Civil Courts Act, 1984 and Section 30 of the Commercial
Courts Act, 2015 (hereinafter referred to as the Act, 2015),
the State Government on the recommendation of and after
consultation with the High Court of Orissa has established
the Courts of Civil Judge (Senior Division) as Commercial
Courts for the purposes of exercising the jurisdiction and
powers under the Act, 2015. 
2.1 The original writ petitioners – appellants herein initially
filed the proceedings under Section 34 of the Arbitration
and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the
Arbitration   Act,   1996)   in   the   Court   of   learned   District
Judge.   However,   on   establishment   of   the   Commercial
2
Courts   under   the   aforesaid   notification,   the   said
proceedings were transferred to the Commercial Court i.e.,
the Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) [designated as
Commercial   Court].   Therefore,   the   appellants   herein
challenged the aforesaid notification and designating the
Courts   of   Civil   Judge   (Senior   Division)   as   Commercial
Courts under the Act, 2015 before the High Court by way
of present writ petitions. It was the case on behalf of the
appellants   –   original   writ   petitioners   that   constituting
and/or   designating   the   Courts   of   Civil   Judge   (Senior
Division) as Commercial Courts and to exercise the powers
under the Commercial Courts Act would be in conflict with
the   provisions   of   Section   2(1)(e)   of   the   Arbitration   Act,
1996. It was the case on behalf of the appellants herein
that under Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act, 1996, only
the Principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district
(Court of Principal District Judge) shall be the “Court” for
the purpose of deciding the disputes under the Arbitration
Act, 1996 and in case of an arbitration it does not include
any Civil Court of a grade inferior to such Principal District
Judge.     Therefore,   it   was   the   case   on   behalf   of   the
3
appellants that to confer the jurisdiction upon the Court of
Civil Judge (Senior Division) to exercise the powers under
the   Commercial   Courts   Act   including   the   proceedings
under   the   Arbitration   Act,   1996   would   be   contrary   to
Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act, 1996, which is the
Special Act. By the impugned common judgment and order
the High Court has dismissed the said writ petitions which
has given rise to the present appeals. 
3. Ms.   Uttara   Babbar,   learned   counsel   has   appeared   on
behalf   of   the   respective   appellants   –   original   writ
petitioners and Shri Gaurav Aggarwal, learned counsel has
appeared as Amicus Curiae appointed by the Court. 
3.1 Ms. Babbar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
appellants   has   vehemently   submitted   that   there   is   a
conflict between Section 3 of the Act, 2015 and Section
2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act, 1996. It is submitted that
Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act, 1996 provides that
the Principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district
shall be the “Court” in the case of an arbitration other
than international commercial arbitration. It is submitted
that Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act, 1996 specifically
4
provides that it does not include any Civil Court of a grade
inferior to such Principal Civil Court. It is submitted that
therefore, under Section 2(1)(e)(i) of the Arbitration Act,
1996,   all   courts   inferior   to   Principal   Civil   Court   are
excluded. It is submitted that wherever an application has
to lie to a “court” (under the Commercial Courts Act), it
must lie to the Principal Civil Court and the jurisdiction of
all inferior courts is excluded. 
3.2 It is submitted that when in exercise of the powers under
Section 3 of the Act, 2015, jurisdiction to hear applications
under Sections 9, 14, 34 of the Arbitration Act, 1996, is
conferred on commercial courts which are subordinate to
the   Principal   Civil   Court   of   original   jurisdiction   in   the
district,  there   is   a   clear   conflict   with   the   provisions   of
Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act, 1996.
3.3 It is further submitted by Ms. Babbar, learned counsel
appearing   on   behalf   of   the   appellants   that   the   “Court”
under Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act, 1996 is the
superior most court in the district and as such legislature
intended to minimize the supervisory role of the courts in
the arbitral process. Reliance is placed on the decisions of
5
this Court in the cases of State of Maharashtra and Anr.
Vs. Atlanata Ltd.; (2014) 11 SCC 619 and State of West
Bengal  and  Ors.  Vs.  Associated  Contractors;   (2015)  1
SCC 32. 
3.4 It is further submitted by Ms. Babbar, learned counsel
appearing on behalf of the appellants that the Arbitration
and Conciliation Act, being a special statute vis­à­vis the
Commercial Courts Act, shall prevail over the Commercial
Courts Act in the case of any conflict as held by this Court
in   the   cases   of  Fuerst   Day   Lawson   Ltd.   Vs.   Jindal
Exports   Ltd.;   (2011)   8   SCC   333  and  Kandla   Export
Corporation   and   Anr.   Vs.   OCI   Corporation   and   Anr.;
(2018) 14 SCC 715,  the Arbitration and Conciliation Act
shall prevail. 
3.5 It is further submitted that the High Court has proceeded
on   an   erroneous   premise   that   the   Arbitration   and
Conciliation Act must yield to the Commercial Courts Act
as both are special statutes, and the Commercial Courts
Act is the later statute. It is submitted that aforesaid is
contrary to the aforesaid two decisions of this Court. It is
6
submitted that as observed and held by this Court in the
case of  Fuerst  Day  Lawson  Ltd.  (supra) the Arbitration
Act is a self­contained code and exhaustive and therefore,
the same shall prevail over the Commercial Courts Act
being   a   Special   Act.     It   is   further   submitted   that   the
decision   of   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Kandla   Export
Corporation (supra) has been subsequently approved by a
bench of three Hon’ble Judges in the case of  BGS  SGS
SOMA   JV   Vs.   NHPC   Ltd.;   (2020)   4   SCC   234.  It   is
submitted   that   in   the   said   decision,   this   Court   has
categorically held that the Arbitration Act is a complete
code and a Special Act which excludes the general law,
including the Commercial Courts Act. It is submitted that
therefore the view taken by the High Court in the common
impugned   judgment   and   order   is   just   contrary   to   the
decision   of   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Kandla   Exports
Corporation  (supra)   and   another   decision   referred
hereinabove. 
3.6 It is further submitted by Ms. Babbar, learned counsel
appearing on behalf of the appellants that the objective of
7
the Arbitration Act is to ensure speedy disposal of cases
which   minimal   court’s   interference.   If   the   Civil   Judge
(Senior Division) is designated as Commercial Court, then
the litigant would be provided another challenge to the
High Court under Article 227 even after disposal of the
appeal   by   the   District   Judge,   which   shall   defeat   the
objective of speedy disposal. Reliance is placed on para 27
of the decision of this Court in the case of Kandla Exports
Corporation (supra).
3.7 Ms. Babbar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
appellants has pointed that there is a conflict in the views
of various High Courts. It is submitted that the Gujarat
High   Court   and   the   Madhya   Pradesh   High   Court   have
taken the view that the Arbitration Act will prevail over the
Commercial Courts Act and on other hand the Bombay
High Court, Rajasthan High Court and Orissa High Court
have taken a contrary view. 
3.8 Making the above submissions and relying upon the above
decisions,   it   is   prayed   to   declare   and   hold   that   the
notification issued by the State of Odisha conferring the
powers upon the Commercial Court – Court of Civil Judge
8
(Senior   Division)   to   exercise   the   powers   under   the
Commercial Courts Act in respect of arbitration disputes
as illegal, bad in law and consequently to quash and set
aside the impugned common judgment and order passed
by the High Court.
4. Shri Gaurav Aggarwal, learned counsel and Amicus Curiae
has taken us to the object and purpose of enactment of
Commercial   Courts   Act   and   establishment   of   the
Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial
Appellate Division of the High Court. It is submitted that
the   Commercial   Courts   Act   and   the   establishment   of
Commercial   Courts   are   with   a   view   to   facilitate   early
disposal of the high value disputes/commercial disputes.
It is submitted that with a view to achieving the object of
speedy disposal of the commercial disputes, the legislature
has   enacted   the   Commercial   Courts   Act,   2015.   It   is
submitted that under Section 3 of the Commercial Courts
Act,   2015,   a   commercial   Court   can   be   set   up   and   a
commercial Appellate Court can be set up under Section
3A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015. It is submitted
that   a   dispute   relating   to   arbitration   is   a   commercial
9
dispute under Section 2(c) of the Commercial Courts Act,
2015. It is submitted that Section 10 of the Commercial
Courts   Act,   2015   is   a   special   provision   in   respect   of
arbitration matters. It is submitted that as per sub­section
(3)   of   Section   10,   if   the   arbitration   is   other   than   an
international   commercial   arbitration,   all   applications   or
appeals   arising   out   of   such   arbitration   under   the
provisions of the Arbitration Act that would ordinarily lie
before any principal civil court of original jurisdiction in a
district, shall be filed in, and heard and disposed of by the
Commercial   Court  exercising   territorial   jurisdiction   over
such arbitration where such Commercial Court has been
constituted. It is submitted that the Commercial Courts
Act – being a later Act and has been enacted for a specific
purpose for speedy disposal of the commercial disputes,
the   same   shall   prevail.   It   is   submitted   that   when   the
legislature   in   its   wisdom   in   a   later   enactment   has
specifically provided as per sub­section (3) of Section 10 of
the   Commercial   Courts   Act,   2015   that   all
applications/appeals   arising   out   of   the   Arbitration   Act
other than the international commercial arbitration would
10
be heard and disposed of by the Commercial Court, the
same shall prevail. It is submitted that if the submissions
made on behalf of the appellants is accepted in that case
Section   10   would   become   otiose   or   redundant   and/or
nugatory. It is submitted that therefore, it is requested not
to have the interpretation which shall result any provision
of the Act nugatory and/or otiose.
4.1 Now so far as the reliance placed upon the decision of this
Court in the case of Kandla Export Corporation (supra) is
concerned,   it   is   vehemently   submitted   that   the   said
decision   does   not   imply   that   all   provisions   of   the
Arbitration Act would prevail over the Commercial Courts
in case of any conflict and inconsistency. 
4.2 It is submitted that similarly the decision of this Court in
the   case   of  BGS   SGS   SOMA   JV  (supra)   shall   not   be
applicable to the facts of the case on hand, it is submitted
that in the said decision it is held that Section 13(1) of the
Commercial Courts Act does not provide for independent
right of appeal, but merely provides forum of filing appeal.
4.3 Making the above submissions it is prayed to dismiss the
present  appeals and  hold  that  in  the  present case the
11
notification   issued   by   the   State   Government   conferring
powers upon the Commercial Court – Court of Civil Judge
(Senior   Division)   to   exercise   the   powers   under   the
Commercial Courts Act is neither illegal nor bad in law.     
5. We   have   heard   Ms.   Uttara   Babbar,   learned   counsel
appearing for the appellants and Shri Gaurav Aggarwal,
learned Amicus Curiae.
6. The question of law arising for consideration in the present
appeal is, whether in exercise of powers under Section 3 of
the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, the State Government
can confer jurisdiction to hear applications under Sections
9, 14 and 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996,
upon  Commercial  Courts  which   are  subordinate  to   the
rank of the Principal Civil Judge in the District, contrary to
the provisions of Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act?
7. While considering the aforesaid question of law, relevant
provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1996 and the Commercial
Courts   Act,   2015   are   required   to   be   referred   to   and
considered, namely, Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act
and Sections 3, 10, 15 & 21 of the Commercial Courts Act,
2015, which read as under:
12
“Section 2(1)(e) of the Arbitration Act, 1996:
(e) “Court” means – 
(i)   in   the   case   of   an   arbitration   other   than   international
commercial arbitration, the principal Civil Court of original
jurisdiction   in   a   district,   and   includes   the   High   Court   in
exercise   of   its   ordinary   original   civil   jurisdiction,   having
jurisdiction to decide the questions forming the subject­matter
of the arbitration if the same had been the subject­matter of a
suit, but does not include any Civil Court of a grade inferior to
such principal Civil Court, or any Court of Small Causes;
(ii) in the case of international commercial arbitration, the
High Court in exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction,
having   jurisdiction   to   decide   the   questions   forming   the
subject­matter of the arbitration if the same had been the
subject­matter of a suit, and in other cases, a High Court
having jurisdiction to hear appears from decrees of courts
subordinate to that High Court”
Sections  3,  10,  15  &  21  of   the  Commercial  Courts  Act,
2015:
3.   Constitution   of   Commercial   Courts   ­  (1)   The   State
Government, may after consultation with the concerned High
Court, by notification, constitute such number of Commercial
Courts at District level, as it may deem necessary for the
purpose of exercising the jurisdiction and powers conferred on
those courts under this Act:
Provided that with respect to the High Courts having ordinary
original  civil   jurisdiction,  the   State   Government   may,  after
consultation with the concerned High Court, by notification,
constitute Commercial Courts at the District Judge level:
Provided further that with respect to a territory over which the
High Courts have ordinary original civil jurisdiction, the State
Government   may,   by   notification,   specify   such   pecuniary
value which shall not be less than three lakh rupees and not
more   than   the   pecuniary   jurisdiction   exercisable   by   the
District Courts, as it may consider necessary.]
(1­A)   Notwithstanding   anything   contained   in   this   Act,   the
State Government may, after consultation with the concerned
High   Court,   by   notification,   specify   such   pecuniary   value
13
which shall not be less than three lakh rupees or such higher
value,   for   whole   or   part   of   the   State,   as   it   may   consider
necessary.]
(2) The State Government shall, after consultation, with the
concerned High Court specify, by notification, the local limits
of the area to which the jurisdiction of a Commercial Court
shall extend and may, from time to time, increase, reduce or
alter such limits.
(3) The [State Government may], with the concurrence of the
Chief Justice of the High Court appoint one or more persons
having experience in dealing with commercial disputes to be
the Judge or Judges, of a [Commercial Court either at the
level of District Judge or a court below the level of a District
Judge].
10. Jurisdiction in respect of arbitration matters ­ Where
the   subject­matter   of   an   arbitration   is   a   commercial
dispute of a specified value and—
(1)   If   such   arbitration   is   an   international   commercial
arbitration, all  applications  or appeals arising out  of  such
arbitration   under   the   provisions   of   the   Arbitration   and
Conciliation Act, 1996 (26 of 1996) that have been filed in a
High Court, shall be heard and disposed of by the Commercial
Division   where   such   Commercial   Division   has   been
constituted in such High Court.
(2)   If   such   arbitration   is   other   than   an   international
commercial arbitration, all applications or appeals arising out
of such arbitration under the provisions of the Arbitration and
Conciliation Act, 1996 (26 of 1996) that have been filed on the
original side of the High Court, shall be heard and disposed of
by the Commercial Division where such Commercial Division
has been constituted in such High Court.
(3)   If   such   arbitration   is   other   than   an   international
commercial arbitration, all applications or appeals arising out
of such arbitration under the provisions of the Arbitration and
Conciliation Act, 1996 (26 of 1996) that would ordinarily lie
before any principal civil court of original jurisdiction in a
district (not being a High Court) shall be filed in, and heard
and disposed of by the Commercial Court exercising territorial
14
jurisdiction   over   such   arbitration   where   such   Commercial
Court has been constituted.
15.   Transfer   of   Pending   Cases—   (1)   All   suits   and
applications, including applications under the Arbitration and
Conciliation Act, 1996 (26 of 1996), relating to a commercial
dispute of a Specified Value pending in a High Court where a
Commercial   Division   has   been   constituted,   shall   be
transferred to the Commercial Division.
(2) All suits and applications, including applications under the
Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (26 of 1996), relating to
a commercial dispute of a specified value pending in any civil
court in any district or area in respect of which a Commercial
Court   has   been   constituted,   shall   be   transferred   to   such
Commercial Court:
Provided that no suit or application where the final judgment
has been reserved by the court prior to the constitution of the
Commercial   Division   or   the   Commercial   Court   shall   be
transferred either under sub­section (1) or sub­section (2).
(3) Where any suit or application, including an application
under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (26 of 1996),
relating to a commercial dispute of specified value shall stand
transferred to the Commercial Division or Commercial Court
under sub­section (1) or sub­section (2), the provisions of this
Act shall apply to those procedures that were not complete at
the time of transfer.
(4) The Commercial Division or Commercial Court, as the case
may be, may hold case management hearings in respect of
such transferred suit or application in order to prescribe new
timelines or issue such further directions as may be necessary
for   a   speedy   and   efficacious   disposal   of   such   suit   or
application in accordance [with Order XV­A] of the Code of
Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908):
Provided that the proviso to sub­rule (1) of Rule 1 of Order V
of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) shall not apply
to such transferred suit or application and the court may, in
its discretion, prescribe a new time period within which the
written statement shall be filed.
15
(5) In the event that such suit or application is not transferred
in the manner specified in sub­section (1), sub­section (2) or
sub­section (3), the Commercial Appellate Division of the High
Court may, on the application of any of the parties to the suit,
withdraw such suit or application from the court before which
it is pending and transfer the same for trial or disposal to the
Commercial Division or Commercial Court, as the case may
be, having territorial jurisdiction over such suit, and such
order of transfer shall be final and binding.
21   Act   to   have   overriding   effect  —Save   as   otherwise
provided,   the   provisions   of   this   Act   shall   have   effect,
notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in
any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument
having effect by virtue of any law for the time being in force
other than this Act.”
8. It is the case on behalf of the appellants, relying upon
Section 2(1)(e) of the Act, 1996 that in case of arbitration
other than the international commercial arbitration, the
principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district
only have the jurisdiction to decide the questions forming
the subject­matter of the arbitration, but does not include
any Civil Court of a grade inferior to such principal Civil
Court, or any Court of Small Causes.  Therefore, it is the
case on behalf of the appellants that therefore conferring
the   jurisdiction   upon   the   Court   of   learned   Civil   Judge
(Senior Division) as Commercial Court to hear applications
under Section 9, 14 and 34 of the Act, 1996 shall be
directly in conflict with Section 2(1)(e) of the Act, 1996 and
16
therefore   the   notification   of   the   State   Government
conferring such powers upon the Court of learned Civil
Judge (Senior Division) which is subordinate to the rank of
Principal Civil Judge  in a district shall be bad in law.
9. While considering the aforesaid issue/question, first of all,
one   has   to   consider   the   object   and   purpose   of
establishment   of   the   Commercial   Courts   and   the
enactment of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015.
9.1 In the year 2003, the Law Commission of India suo moto
took up the issue of constitution of Commercial Divisions
in the High Courts with a view to facilitate fast disposal of
high value commercial disputes.   In its 188th  Report, the
Law   Commission,   after   carrying   out   in­depth   study   of
Commercial Courts in United Kingdom, USA, Singapore
etc. recommended setting up of Commercial Division in
each of the High Courts to expedite commercial cases of
high pecuniary value.
9.2 On the basis of the above recommendations of the Law
Commission,   a   Bill   was   introduced   in   Lok   Sabha   on
16.12.2009   and   passed   on   18.12.2009   for   setting   up
commercial   divisions   in   the   High   Courts.   The   Bill   was
17
referred to a Select Committee which suggested certain
amendments to the said Bill.  The Bill was redrafted and
placed   before   the   Rajya   Sabha   for   its   consideration.
However,   the   same   came   to   be   withdrawn   by   the
Government and thereafter the matter was again referred
to   the   Law   Commission   for   its   report.     The   Law
Commission   in   its   253rd  Report   submitted   in   January,
2015 suggested a new approach for expediting commercial
disputes   and   therefore   proposed   a   new   Bill.     The   Law
Commission   made   the   following   recommendations   qua
arbitration matters involving the commercial disputes:
“3.24.4 Second,   in   the   case   of   domestic   arbitrations
concerning a commercial dispute of more than Rupees One
Crore, applications or appeals may lie either to the High Court
or a Civil Court (not being a High Court) depending upon the
pecuniary   jurisdiction.     It   is   recommended   that   all
applications or appeals arising out of such arbitrations under
the A& C Act, that have been filed on the original side of the
High Court shall be heard by the Commercial Division of the
High Court where such Commercial Division is constituted in
the High Court.   However, in the absence of a Commercial
Division   being   constituted,   the   regular   Bench   of   the   High
Court will hear such applications or appeals arising out of
domestic arbitration.   If the application or appeal in such
domestic arbitration is not within the jurisdiction of the High
Court and would ordinarily lie before a Civil Court (not being a
High   Court)   and   there   is   a   Commercial   Court   exercising
territorial jurisdiction in respect of such arbitration, then such
application  or appeal  shall  be  filed  in  and heard by such
Commercial Court.”     
18
Accordingly, Commercial Courts, Commercial Division
and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill, 2015
was introduced in Rajya Sabha on April 29, 2015 which was
referred   to   Departmental   Related   Parliamentary   Standing
Committee   on   Personnel,   Public   Grievances,   Law   and
Justice.   While   the   matter   was   pending   before   the
Parliamentary Committee, an Ordinance was promulgated
by   His   Excellency   the   President   of   India   on   23.10.2015,
namely,   Commercial   Courts,   Commercial   Division   and
Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Ordinance,
2015.
That thereafter, the Commercial Courts, Commercial
Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts
Act, 2015 was passed by the Parliament, which has been
subsequently re­named as Commercial Courts Act, 2015.
The statements of Objects and Reasons of the said Act, inter
alia, provides as under:
“The proposal to provide for speedy disposal of high value
commercial   disputes   has   been   under   consideration   of   the
Government for quite some time.  The high value commercial
disputes involve complex facts and question of law.  Therefore,
there is a need to provide for an independent mechanism for
their early resolution. Early resolution of commercial disputes
19
shall create a positive image to the investor world about the
independent and responsive Indian legal system.”
That thereafter the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 has
been amended in the year 2018 which has come into force
with effect from 03.05.2018, by which Sections 3(1A) & 3A
have   been   inserted   enabling   the   State   Governments   to
designate such number of commercial Appellate Courts at
District   level   to   exercise   appellate   jurisdiction   over   the
commercial courts below the District Judge level.  Thus, a
commercial Court can be set up under Section 3 of the Act,
2015   and   a   commercial   appellate   Court   can   be   set   up
under Section 3A of the Act, 2015.
10. Thus, the Objects and Reasons of Commercial Courts Act,
2015 is to provide for speedy disposal of the commercial
disputes which includes the arbitration proceedings.   To
achieve the said Objects, the legislature in its wisdom has
specifically   conferred   the   jurisdiction   in   respect   of
arbitration matters as per Section 10 of the Act, 2015.  At
this stage, it is required to be noted that the Act, 2015 is
the Act later in time and therefore when the Act, 2015 has
20
been enacted, more particularly Sections 3 & 10, there was
already a provision contained in Section 2(1)(e) of the Act,
1996. As per settled position of law, it is to be presumed
that while enacting the subsequent law, the legislature is
conscious of the provisions of the Act prior in time and
therefore the later Act shall prevail.  It is also required to
be noted that even as per Section 15 of the Act, 2015, all
suits and  applications including applications  under the
Act, 1996, relating to a commercial dispute of specified
value   shall   have   to   be   transferred   to   the   Commercial
Court.  Even as per Section 21 of the Act, 2015, Act, 2015
shall   have   overriding   effect.     It   provides   that   save   as
otherwise provided, the provisions of this Act shall have
effect,   notwithstanding   anything   inconsistent   therewith
contained in any other law for the time being in force.
11. Therefore, considering the afore­stated provisions of the
Act, 2015 and the Objects and Reasons for which the Act,
2015   has   been   enacted   and   the   Commercial   Courts,
Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division in
the High Courts are established for speedy disposal of the
commercial   disputes   including   the   arbitration   disputes,
21
Sections 3 & 10 of the Act, 2015 shall prevail and all
applications or appeals arising out of arbitration under the
provisions   of   Act,   1996,   other   than   international
commercial arbitration, shall be filed in and heard and
disposed   of   by   the   Commercial   Courts,   exercising   the
territorial jurisdiction  over  such arbitration  where such
commercial   courts   have   been   constituted.     If   the
submission   on   behalf   of   the   appellants   that   all
applications/appeals arising out of arbitration under the
provisions   of   Act,   1996,   other   than   the   international
commercial arbitration, shall lie before the principal civil
Court of a district, in that case, not only the Objects and
Reasons of enactment of Act, 2015 and establishment of
commercial courts shall be frustrated, even Sections 3, 10
& 15 shall become otiose and nugatory.  If the submission
on   behalf   of   the   appellants   is   accepted,   in   that   case,
though   with   respect   to   other   commercial   disputes,   the
applications   or   appeals   shall   lie   before   the   commercial
courts established and constituted under Section 3 of Act,
2015,   with   respect   to   arbitration   proceedings,   the
applications or appeals shall lie before the principal civil
22
Court of a district.  There cannot be two fora with respect
to different commercial disputes.  
Under the circumstances, notification issued by the
State of Odisha issued in consultation with the High Court
of Orissa to confer jurisdiction upon the court of learned
Civil   Judge   (Senior   Division)   designated   as   Commercial
Court to decide the applications or appeals arising out of
arbitration under the provisions of Act, 1996 cannot be
said to be illegal and bad in law.   On the contrary, the
same can be said to be absolutely in consonance with
Sections   3   &   10   of   Act,   2015.   We   are   in   complete
agreement with the view taken by the High Court holding
so.
12. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, all
these appeals fail and the same deserve to be dismissed
and are accordingly dismissed.  However, in the facts and
circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to
costs. 
23
13. Before parting with the case, we appreciate the assistance
rendered   by   Shri   Gaurav   Aggarwal,   learned   counsel   as
Amicus Curiae in the matter.  
………………………………….J.
 [M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
OCTOBER 19, 2022                   [KRISHNA MURARI]
24

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Questions on Indian Constitution for UPSC 2020 Pre Exam

संविधान की प्रमुख विशेषताओं का उल्लेख | Characteristics of the Constitution of India

भारतीय संविधान से संबंधित 100 महत्वपूर्ण प्रश्न उतर