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Contract Act, 1872: ss.4, 7 – Concluded contract containing arbitration clause – If respondent accepts the offer of petitioner following a very strict time schedule, he cannot escape from the obligations that flowed from such an action – Arbitration clause can be inferred from various documents duly approved and signed by the parties in the form of exchange of e-mails, letter, telex, telegrams and other means of tele-communication even in the absence of signed agreement – If no inference can be drawn from the facts that the parties intended to be bound only when a formal agreement had been executed, the validity of the agreement would not be affected by its lack of formality – On facts, the Commercial Offer carried no clause making the conclusion of the contract incumbent upon the Purchase Order -Therefore, the moment commercial offer was accepted by the respondent, the contract came into existence – Since the contract contained arbitration clause, petitioner made out case for appointment of arbitrator – Arbitration. Petitioner’s case was that on 15.10.2007, it submitted a commercial offer through e-mail for supply of Bauxite to the respondent. After exchange of several e-mails, respondent conveyed acceptance of offer through e-mail on 16.10.2007 confirming the supply of 5 shipments of Bauxite. Dispute arose and petitioner served arbitration notice on the respondent. Respondent rejected the arbitration notice stating that there was no concluded contract between them. Petitioner filed arbitration petition for appointment of arbitrator. = Allowing the arbitration petition, the Court HELD: 1.1. On 15.10.2007 at 4.26 p.m. the petitioner submitted commercial offer wherein clause 6 contained arbitration clause i.e. “this contract is governed by Indian law and arbitration in Mumbai courts”. At 5.34 p.m. though respondents offered their comments, no comments were made in respect of `arbitration clause’. At 6.04 p.m. the petitioner sent a reply to the comments made by the respondent. Again on 16.10.2007, at 11.28 a.m. though respondents suggested certain additional information on the offer note, again no suggestion was made with regard to arbitration clause. At 11.48 a.m. the petitioner sent an e-mail extending validity of the offer by another one hour. At 01.38 p.m., the respondent made certain suggestions on the demurrage asking the petitioner to either reduce the freight rate or the demurrage rate. On the same day at 02.01 p.m., the petitioner sent a reply on the demurrage stating that the rates cannot be reduced any further. At 02.41 p.m., the respondent informed the petitioner that they would like to have a termination clause after two shipments. At 03.06 p.m., the petitioner sent a mail stating that “no owner will accept this condition. Respondent may accept two or five quickly”. At 03.06 p.m. the respondent accepted the offer for five shipments. In response to the same at 03.49 p.m., the petitioner thanked the respondent for acceptance and conveyed that it was “just in time” to go to the ship owners. At 03.57 p.m. the petitioner finalized the contract with the bauxite supplier in Australia. Apart from the minute to minute correspondences exchanged between the parties regarding offer and acceptance, the offer of 15.10.2007 contained all essential ingredients for a valid acceptance by the respondents. The correspondence exchanged between the parties clearly go to show that after understanding all the details and the confirmation by the respondent, the petitioner sent a reply stating that “thanks for the confirmation, just in time to go to the ship owners”. All these details clearly establish that both the parties were aware of various conditions and understood the terms and finally the charter was entered into a contract by the parties on 17.10.2007. [Para 7] [859-H; 860-A-H; 861-A-D] 1.2. Once the contract is concluded orally or in writing, the mere fact that a formal contract has to be prepared and initialed by the parties would not affect either the acceptance of the contract so entered into or implementation thereof, even if the formal contract has never been initialed. When petitioner opened the email of the respondent at 3:06 PM on 16.10.2007, it came to his knowledge that an irrevocable contract was concluded. Apart from this, the mandate of Section 7 of the Indian Contract Act stipulated that an acceptance must be absolute and unconditional has also been fulfilled. It is true that in the first acceptance conveyed by the respondent contained a rider, namely, cancellation after 2 shipments which made acceptance conditional. However, taking note of the said condition, the petitioner requested the respondent to convey an unconditional acceptance which was readily done through his email sent at 3:06 PM with the words “we confirm the deal for 5 shipments”, which is unconditional and unqualified. The respondent was wholly aware of the fact that its agreement with the petitioner was interconnected with the ship owner. In other words, once the offer of the petitioner was accepted following a very strict time schedule, the respondent could not escape from the obligations that flowed from such an action. [Paras 9 and 10] [861-G-H; 862-A-G] Shankarlal Narayandas Mundade v. The New Mofussil Co. Ltd. & Ors. AIR 1946 PC 97, relied on. Pagnan SPA v. Feed Products Ltd. 1987 Vol. 2, Lloyd’s Law Reports 619; Mamidoil-Jetoil Greek Petroleum Co. S.A. v. Okta Crude Oil Refinery AD (2001) Vol. 2 Lloyd’s Law Reports 76 at p. 89; Wilson Smithett & Cape (Sugar) Ltd. v. Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (1986) Vol. 1 Lloyd’s Law Reports 378, referred to. 1.3. Unless an inference can be drawn from the facts that the parties intended to be bound only when a formal agreement had been executed, the validity of the agreement would not be affected by its lack of formality. In the present case, where the Commercial Offer carries no clause making the conclusion of the contract incumbent upon the Purchase Order, it is clear that the basic and essential terms have been accepted by the respondent, without any option but to treat the same as a concluded contract. A specific order for 5 shipments was placed and only some minor details were to be finalized through further agreement. After the suggested modifications had crystallized over several emails. The moment the commercial offer was accepted by the respondent, the contract came into existence. [Para 12] [864-B-E] Dresser Rand S.A. v. Bindal Agro Chem Ltd. (2006) 1 SCC 751, distinguished. 2. It is essential that the intention of the parties be considered in order to conclude whether parties were ad idem as far as adopting arbitration as a method of dispute resolution was concerned. In the absence of signed agreement between the parties, it would be possible to infer arbitration clause from various documents duly approved and signed by the parties in the form of exchange of e-mails, letter, telex, telegrams and other means of tele-communication. [Paras 14 and 17] [865-E-F; 866-C] Smita Conductors Ltd. vs. Euro Alloys Ltd. (2001) 7 SCC 728; Shakti Bhog Foods Limited vs. Kola Shipping Limited (2009) 2 SCC 134, relied on. 3. The petitioner has made out a case for appointment of an Arbitrator in accordance with Clause 6 of the Purchase Order dated 15.10.2007 and subsequent materials exchanged between the parties. Inasmuch as in respect of the earlier contract between the same parties, Justice B.N. Srikrishna, former Judge of this Court was adjudicating the same as an Arbitrator at Mumbai, it is but proper and convenient for both parties to have the assistance of the same Hon’ble Judge. Accordingly, Hon’ble Mr. Justice B.N. Srikrishna, former Judge of this Court is appointed as an Arbitrator to resolve the dispute between the parties. [Paras 20 and 21] [868-B-F] Great Offshore Ltd. v. Iranian Offshore Engg. & Construction Co., (2008) 14 SCC 240, relied on. Case Law Reference: 1987 Vol. 2, Lloyd’s referred to Para 11 Law Reports 619 (2001) Vol. 2 Lloyd’s Law Reports 76 referred to Para 11 (1986) Vol. 1 Lloyd’s Law Reports 378 referred to Para 11 (2006) 1 SCC 751 distinguished Para 12 AIR 1946 PC 97 relied on Para 11 (2001) 7 SCC 728 relied on Para 15 (2009) 2 SCC 134 relied on Para 16 (2008) 14 SCC 240 relied on Para 19 CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION : Arbitration Petition No. 10 of 2009. K.K. Venugopal, Gopal Sankara Narayanan, R. Subramanian, Vikas Mehta, Rohit Bhat for the Appellant. C.A. Sundaram, Rohini Musa, Abhishek Gupta, Zafar Inayat, Anandh Kannan, Binu Tamta for the Respondent.

Bauxite output in 2005

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 REPORTABLE
 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

 ARBITRATION PETITION NO. 10 OF 2009

Trimex International FZE Ltd. Dubai .... Petitioner(s)

 Versus

Vedanta Aluminium Ltd., India .... Respondent(s)

 JUDGMENT

P. Sathasivam, J.

1) In this petition the Petitioner-Company seeks to

invoke arbitration clause under Section 11(6) of the

Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 for appointment of an

arbitrator as per the Arbitration Agreement contained in

clause 6 of the Commercial Offer (purchase order) dated

15.10.2007 and clause 29 of the Agreement exchanged

between the parties on 08.11.2007.

 1
2) The case of the petitioner is as follows:

The Petitioner-Company is registered in Dubai and

engaged in the business of trading in Minerals across the

world. Based on the orders from their purchasers, they

procure mineral Ores from the suppliers, negotiate and

finalize shipments with the ship owners and arrange for

the shipment of Minerals across the world. The

Respondent is a Company registered in India using

Aluminium Ore as one of the major inputs for their

operations.

3) On 15.10.2007, the petitioner submitted a

commercial offer through e-mail for the supply of Bauxite

to the respondent. After several exchanges of e-mails and

after agreeing on the material terms of the contract, the

respondent conveyed their acceptance of the offer through

e-mail on 16.10.2007 confirming the supply of 5

shipments of Bauxite to be supplied from Australia to

Vizag/Kakinada. On the basis of the acceptance by the

respondent, the petitioner concluded the deal with the

 2
Bauxite supplier in Australia on the same day and entered

into a binding Charter Party Agreement with the ship

owner in Oslo on 17.10.2007. A meeting was held

between the representatives of the respondent and the

petitioner at Lanjigarh, Orissa on 26.10.2007 and the

minutes of this meeting were signed by them. The

acceptance of the offer is acknowledged by the respondent

in these minutes. A formal contract containing a detailed

arbitration clause was also sent by the respondent to the

petitioner on 08.11.2007 which was accepted by the

petitioner with some changes and returned the same to

the respondent the same evening. On 09.11.2007, the

petitioner entered into a formal Bauxite sales Agreement

with Rio Tinto of Australia for the supply of 225000

tonnes of Bauxite. On 12.11.2007, the respondent

requested the petitioner to hold the next consignment

until further notice. On 13.11.2007, the petitioner

informed the respondent that it was not possible to

postpone the cargo and requested them to sign the

 3
Purchase Agreement. On 13.11.2007 itself, the ship

owners nominated the ship for loading the material on

28.11.2007. The petitioner terminated the contract on

16.11.2007 reserving the right to claim for damages. On

18.11.2007, the petitioner formally informed the ship

owners about the cancellation of the carriage. On

19.11.2007, the ship owners made a claim of 1 million

US$ towards commercial settlement and on 30.11.2007,

the petitioner informed the respondent to pay a sum of 1

million US$ towards compensation for loss on account of

the estimated loss for five shipments and 0.8 million

towards compensation for loss of profit and other costs

and expenses for cancellation of the order. The respondent

rejected the claim of the petitioner on damages. On

compensation not being paid, the ship owners served a

notice on the petitioner. After negotiations, a settlement

was arrived at between the ship owners and the petitioner

to pay a lump-sum of 600,000 US$ to be paid in two

installments. The petitioner paid the amount in two

 4
installments on 27.02.2008 and 31.03.2008. On

01.09.2008, the petitioner served a notice of claim-cum-

arbitration on the respondent to make the payment

immediately otherwise treat the notice for referring the

dispute to arbitration as per Clause 29 of the Purchase

Order and informed about nominating Mr. Shiv Shankar

Bhatt, a retired Judge of the Karnataka High Court as the

arbitrator from their side and requested the respondent to

nominate their own arbitrator within 30 days. On

14.11.2008, the respondent rejected the arbitration notice

stating that there was no concluded contract between the

parties. Hence, the petitioner filed the present petition for

appointment of an Arbitrator.

4) According to the respondent, as seen from the

counter affidavit, there was no concluded contract

between the parties and the parties are still not ad idem in

respect of various essential features of the transaction.

Further the draft contract received from the petitioner was

yet to be accepted/confirmed by the respondent. The

 5
commercial offer provided two options of shipment lot,

namely, 2 shipments and 5 shipments. The only

understanding that had been arrived at between the

parties as a result of the correspondence subsequent to

the receipt of the commercial offer from the petitioner was

that the transaction would be in respect of 5 shipments.

All other terms and conditions pivotal and essential to the

transaction were under negotiation as is evident from the

correspondence between the parties. The product

specifications, price, inclusions in the contract price,

delivery point, insurance, commencement and conclusion

dates of the contract, transfer of title, quality check and

demurrage are all factors that are at large and remain

undecided. In such a scenario, where the parties were not

in one mind with respect to any aspect of the transaction,

the contention of the petitioner that there existed a

binding contract between the parties as also a binding

arbitration agreement is wholly erroneous and misleading.

Apart from the commercial offer dated 15.10.2007, subject

 6
matter of the instant proceedings, the petitioner had sent

another commercial offer on 05.09.2007 bearing No.

TID/F/194/2007 also for 45000 MTs of Bauxite (of

Australian origin) which offer had been followed up with a

purchase order executed by and between the parties.

While the commercial offer, subject-matter of the instant

petition, was being negotiated and the terms discussed, a

shipment of Bauxite covered under the previous

commercial offer dated 05.09.2007 was received by the

respondent at its plant on or around 12.11.2007. The

product was being analysed to determine its utility value

for the respondent at its plant. On account of such

analysis being conducted, the respondent on 12.11.2007

wrote to the petitioner bringing the factum of the ongoing

analysis to its notice and instructed the petitioner to defer

the new shipments till the analysis was completed and the

results obtained with respect to the utility value of the

said product. Despite being put on notice by the

respondent for deferment of shipment, the petitioner

 7
permitted the nomination of the Vessel to take place on

13.11.2007. Apart from there being no valid and binding

contract/arbitration agreement between the parties, it is

the stand of the respondent that in this petition, the

petitioner seeks to commence proceedings to fasten a

liability on to the respondent for which the respondent

was not responsible in any manner whatsoever having

informed the petitioner prior to the occurrence of the event

giving rise to the alleged liability.

5) In the light of the above pleadings of both the parties,

heard Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned senior counsel for the

petitioner and Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned senior counsel

for the respondent.

6) Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned senior counsel for the

petitioner, after taking me through the sequence of events

which took place on 15.10.2007 and 16.10.2007,

submitted that the contract between the petitioner and the

respondent stood concluded by acceptance of the offer for

five shipments by the respondent at 3.05 p.m. on

 8
16.10.2007. He further contended that the commercial

offer of 16.10.2007 was pursuant to the request of the

respondent on 10.10.2007 and on the basis of a similar

transaction which had been concluded in the previous

month between the parties. By taking me through various

e-mails exchanged between the parties, he contended that

the charter was entered into a contract by the parties on

17.10.2007 i.e. the next day. He finally submitted that

from the materials it was established beyond doubt that

the intention of parties in case of any dispute between

them arising out of the contract which was concluded on

16.10.2007 at 3.06 p.m. shall be settled through

arbitration. On the other hand, Mr. C.A. Sundaram,

learned senior counsel for the respondent contended that

there was no concluded contract between the parties and

that the agreement between the petitioner and the

respondent was only in respect of the number of

shipments (two or five) and nothing more. According to

him, there is no arbitration agreement and that clause 6 is

 9
vague and ambiguous. He further contended that even in

the legal notice dated 01.09.2008 issued by the

petitioner's counsel, there is no specific reference to clause

6 of the commercial offer but mentioned only clause 29 of

the purchase order exchanged between the parties on

08.11.2007 but the present petition before this Court

mentions both of them. He also pointed out that the

Charter Party Agreement (CPA) entered into between the

petitioner and the ship owner is only a draft. Further,

there were differences in the purchase orders exchanged

between the parties on 08.11.2007 and that it is only a

draft form and prayed for dismissal of the present petition.

7) It is the categorical claim of the petitioner that a

commercial offer containing an arbitration clause

conveyed through e-mail dated 15.10.2007 for the supply

of bauxite to the respondent is a valid offer. This offer was

to expire by noon the following day i.e. on 16.10.2007. It

is the definite case of the petitioner that after several

exchanges of e-mails and agreeing on the material terms

 10
of the contract, the respondent conveyed their acceptance

of the offer through e-mail on 16.10.2007 confirming the

supply of five shipments of bauxite to be supplied from

Australia-Vizag/Kakinada. Based on the acceptance by

the respondent, it is the claim of the petitioner that they

concluded the deal with the Bauxite supplier in Australia

on 16.10.2007 and entered into a binding Charter Party

Agreement with the ship owner in Oslo on 17.10.2007. It

was also pointed out that a formal contract containing

further detailed arbitration clause was also sent by the

respondent to the petitioner on 08.11.2007 which was

accepted with some minor changes by the petitioner in the

same evening. Though exchange of e-mails were admitted

by the respondent, it is their specific stand that there was

no concluded contract and in the absence of the same, the

petitioner cannot enforce certain obligations reflected in

those e-mails and avail arbitration clause as if the

respondent has executed a formal agreement. In the light

of the controversy and in view of the fact that copies of e-

 11
mails exchanged between the officers of the petitioner and

respondent on various dates which are placed in the form

of annexures, it is useful to refer the relevant

correspondence in order to understand their claim:

A)

 Annexure P 1
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2007 2:37 PM
To: Rajesh Mohata; Swayam Mishra
Cc: S R Subramanyam; Shanika

Subject: LM Grade Bauxite specs `1 (2). Doc
Importance: High
Attachments: LM Grade Bauxite specs'1 (2). Doc

Dear Rajesh,
 This has a reference to our earlier mails regarding the specs for the
fresh cargoes. After discussions with RTA their comments are
reproduced.
 "Quote"
 We maintain our position that we are not able to accurately
measure reactive silica at our Weipa lab for us to place a bonus/penalty
on and that any rejection criteria on silica is unreasonable. It is for this
reason that we are only prepared to revise our offer on total silica with a
Base Grade of 4.5%. We are prepared to increase this bonus/penalty to
US$1.50 per % total silica either side the Base Grade. This we believe is
a fair compensation to Vedanta and is our final offer.
 Unfortunately we cannot make this an open ended offer as we need
to fill our shipping slots set aside for these cargoes in November and
December. We have already lost the October opportunity. Freight and
spot prices for bauxite have all moved up since we started this
negotiation and we are making offers for 2008 cargoes at $4 higher than
your offer. Therefore, we have to put a validity on this until close of
business Friday, 12 October after which this offer will be subject to re-
confirmation.

 12
 "Unquote"
 We have prepared a revised schedule of specs which is attached.
This is not yet confirmed with RTA but once you agree to go by this then
we can take up with them. Rejection points are also to be agreed by
them. Further the freights have gone up substantially since we last
made the shipment. Hence we have to freeze the quality specs first and
then take up with RTA for confirmation and then get the vessel freight.

 Hence we request you to revert urgently before closing today as
this area is all closed from Thursday

 Best regards
 Swaminathan

 Low Monohydrate Grade Bauxite
 Typical Analysis

Parameter Range Base spec Bonus/Penalty Rejection
Trihydrate 42-46% 45% Min. Bonus US $0.50 per Below
alumina tonne per percentage 41%
(THA) point fraction pro-rate
 above 45%

 Penalty US$ 0.50 per
 tonne per percentage
 point fraction pro-rate
 below 45%

 Penalty US $1.00 per
 tonne per percentage
 point fraction pro-rate
 below 42%.

Monohydrate 3-5% 4.5% Bonus US $0.50 per Above
alumina Max. tonne per percentage 5.0%
(MHA) point fraction pro-rate
 below 4.5%.

 Penalty US$ 0.50 per
 tonne per percentage
 point fraction pro-rate

 13
 above 4.5%.
Total Silica 4-6% 4.5% Bonus US $1.50 per N/A
 Max. tonne per percentage
 point fraction pro-rata
 below 4.5%.
 Penalty US$ 1.50 per
 tonne per percentage
 point fraction pro-rata
 above 4.5%

B)

Shanika
From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 11:16 AM
To: Swaminathan G
Cc: Rajesh Mohata; Shanika; SR Subramanyam; Chinmayee Panda; N.
Chellappa; Hukum Chand Dahiya

Subject: Re: LM Grade Bauxite specs `1 (2). Doc
Attachments: LM Grade Bauxite specs'1 (2). Doc

Dear Mr. Swaminathan,
 Please find our observation in the attached sheet. Kindly give your
confirmation for the same.

Thanks
Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd., Lanjigarh
Dist: Kalahandi
Pin: 766027
Orissa
9937251390

C)

 14
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 1:30 PM
To: Swayam Mishra
Cc: Rajesh Mohata; Shanika; SR Subramanyam; Chinmayee Panda; N.
Chellappa; Hukum Chand Dahiya

Subject: Re: LM Grade Bauxite specs `1 (2). Doc
Importance: High

Dear Swayam,

 We reviewed the reply below and this not acceptable to RTA or by
ourselves.
 We are unable to improve on the proposal given from our side
which itself needs to be ratified by RTA.
 Please also keep in mind the time limit and we need to have time
for obtaining freights which is the most difficult aspect in the present
market.
 Your final reply may be given to us before close of office hours
today.

Regards
Swami

D)
Shanika
From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 7:17 PM
To: Swaminathan G
Cc: Chinmayee Panda; Hukum Chand Dahiya N. Chellappa; Rajesh
Mohata; Shanika; SR Subramanyam;

Subject: Re: LM Grade Bauxite specs `1 (2). Doc
Dear Mr. Swaminathan,

 Please send your rates at your proposed quality parameters on
FOB basis and on CIF basis, separately.
 We would also be interested to have separate rates for 2 shipments
and for the complete offer of 2 Lac MT.

Thanks

 15
Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. Lanjigarh
Distt: Kalahandi
Pin: 766 027
Orissa

E)
 Annexure P-2
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 4:46 PM
To: Rajesh Mohata; Swayam Mishra
Cc: S R Subramanyam; Shanika

Importance: High
Attachments: Offer for Mono Bxt.Pdf

Dear Rajeshji,
 Please find attached our offer for the two options as desired by you.
Please note the validity of the offer until 1200 IST tomorrow. Freights are
going up continuously and have jumped since we last gave you the offer.
A quick decision will be helpful otherwise we may lose this freight offer
too.

Awaiting an early response.

Best regards
G. Swaminathan
General Manager
Trimex International
P.O. Box 17056
Dubai-U.A.E.
Tel:971-4-8835544 Ext. 209
Fax:-971-4-8836410
Mob:-971-50-6455819

 16
 TRIMEX
 The Mineral People
 COMMERCIAL OFFER
Company: M/s Vedanta Alumina Ltd. Offer No: TID/F/223/2007
Lanjigarh Date: October 15, 2007
Kind Attn: Mr. Rajesh Mohata General Valid Until: October 16, 2007
Manager (Commercial) 1200 noon IST

Product Quantity Price per Delivery Terms Payment
Description* tonne Terms
Low OPTION 1 US$93.50 CIF Free Out Irrevocable
Monohydrate (2) pmt (US Visakhapatnam, L/c for
Grade Shipments Dollars India (C) clause 100%
Bauxite of 45,000 Ninety Cargo cover Invoice
(Australian mt +/- 10% Three and value to be
Origin) at Shipper's Cents Fifty established
 Option only) 30 days
 before each
 OPTION II shipment
 (5)
 Shipments -92.5%
 of 45, 000 payable at
 mt +/- 10% sight
 at Shipper's -7.5%
 option payable
 within 30
 days after
 completion
 of discharge
*Please see attached Annexure I for detailed product specifications

Shipment Discharge port Discharge Demurrage/Desp. Shipment

 17
Lot rate
OPTION I (Non Oil Mooring 8000mt PD US$ 75,000 per OPTION I
(2) at SHINC. day pro rata Half In Nov. &
Shipments Visakhapatnam, NOR Despatch Dec. 2007
OPTION II India) ATDN
(5) SHINC OPTION II
Shipments WIBON, From Nov.
 WIPON, 07 to
 WCCON March 08.
 WIFPON
 12 hrs
 turntime
 USC Any
 time used
 to count

Additional Information/Comments:
Vessel details (all about): age-Not over 25 years, 4 x 20 mt gears, 8-10
cbm grabs
Draft: buyers to guarantee draft of 12 mtrs, at discharge port
Quantity: Draft survey at discharge port by mutually agree independent
surveyor will be final.

Quality: Invoice for initial payment as per Producer's Quality Certificate
Balance 7.5% payment will be based on analysis done by Independent
surveyor
Bonus/Penalty: As per Annexure I
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Wherever applicable any charges payable at discharge port (custom duty,
taxes etc.) other than our stated sales conditions will be to buyers
account.

Conditions of sale- all sales are concluded on the following terms, unless
varied by written agreements between us. Neither our agents nor our
associated companies are authorized to vary these terms.

 18
1. We shall not be liable by reason of any defect (including non-
conformity with specification or sample) unless we receive written notice
of the defect within 15 days of delivery. Our liability in that event will be
limited to product related compensation after discussions and suitable
joint analysis wherever applicable. In case of joint analysis being agreed
upon for confirming the product quality/penalty determination, the
above should be arranged by the buyer within 30 days of product
delivery to the customer.
2. We shall have no liability under this contract or by reason of any
representation, warranty or duty for any direct, indirect, special or
consequential loss or damage, costs or expenses arising out of the
composition, supply, packaging, handling or use of products.
3. Unless stated otherwise, products are sold strictly to the offered sale
condition and payments are due on the dates as applicable.
4. Prices are valid upto 1200 hrs IST 16.10.2007 unless withdrawn by
notice from us during that period.
5. Interest may be charged on overdue amount wherever applicable as
per our terms mentioned in commercial/payment invoice.
6. This contract is governed by Indian Law & Arbitration in Mumbai
courts.
For Trimex International FZE
Name: G. Swaminathan
(computerized offer-Signature not required)

TRIMEX INTERNATIONAL FZE
P.O. BOX 17056,
Jabel Ali,
Dubai, UAI
Tel:971-4-8835544
Fax:-971-4-8836410
Telex: (893) 47804
Email Trimex@emiratesnet.ac.
www.trimexgroup.com
F)
 Annexure P-3
Shanika
From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 5:34 PM
To: Swaminathan G
Cc: Rajesh Mohata; Shanika; SR Subramanyam; Chinmayee Panda

Subject: Offer for imported Bauxite
Dear Mr. Swaminathan,
We have the following observations related to your offer:
 1. Bonus/Penalty Clause for THA: Penalty US $ 1.00 per tonne per
 percentage point fraction pro-rata below 42%.

 19
 2. Rejection Criteria for Total Silica: Since the range is between (4-
 6%), so rejection will be for Total Silica > 6%.
 3. Please let us have the FOB rates as well.
 4. As you are stating that the freight market is expected to go up in
 the coming months, so the rate for the supply of 2 shipments
 should be less than the present rate quoted by you for 5 rates.
 Looking forward for your positive response.
Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. Lanjigarh
Distt: Kalahandi
Pin: 766 027
Orissa Shanika

G)
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 6:04 PM
To: swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in
Cc: Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in; Shanika; SR Subramanyam;
ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in

Subject: Re: Offer for imported bauxite
Dear Swayam,
 THA penalty rate is as agreed/ratified by RTA.
 Silica rejection cls not agreed by RTA. Given at our risk but we
cannot make it coincide with maxm of range as it is too risky for us. In
fact, we also refused rejn cls but Mr. SRS argued on this and persuaded
us to put it in for your comfort.
 We only sell C N F basis.
 Freight rates presently are even more firm than next year. But
overall we have this package from ship owners.
 Trust this clarifies.

 Best regards
 Swami

H)
From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:28 AM
To: Swaminathan G

 20
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in;
Shanika; SR Subramanyam

Subject: Re: Offer for imported bauxite
Dear Mr. Swaminathan,
 As assured by Mr. SRS that the material is homogeneous in
nature, and looking at the result of the present shipment, we do not
think that keeping a rejection limit at 6% is a risk for you.

 Please let us have the cost break-up (Material+Coastal Freight).
We would also like to have a rate for CIF Kakinada port.

Thanks
Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. Lanjigarh
Distt: Kalahandi
Pin: 766 027
Orissa

I)
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:48 AM
To: Rajesh.Mohata@vedanta.co.in; Swayam Mishra
Cc: S R Subramanyam; Shanika

Subject: Offer for bauxite
Importance: High
Urgent
Dear Swayam,
 The time has just expired. We still have a little more than 1 hour
before our offer from Owners expires. Hence we can extend this by
another 1 hour which is 1300 hrs IST today.

 Please let us know your decision either way as we would like to
keep all parties informed in time about the developments.

Regards
Swami
J)
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]

 21
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:54 AM
To: Swayam Mishra
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in
S R Subramanyam; Shanika

Subject: Offer for imported bauxite
Swayam,

 Where will you discharge and store in Kakinada port? Is it
permissible to take it to Berth and if so what is the draft you can
guarantee?

 If it is anchorage, it is heavily congested and also you cannot
achieve the discharge rate of even 4000t per day. Freight will shoot up
and it will be unworkable.

Regards

Swami

K)
Shanika
From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 1:38 PM
To: Swaminathan G
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in;
Shanika; S R Subramanyam; Sarika Singh

Subject: Offer for imported bauxite
Dear Mr. Swaminathan,

 The Demurrage rate should be decreased and made as per last
shipment. Please negotiate the same with the Vessel Owners. Either
reduce the freight rate or the demurrage rate.

Kindly confirm at the earliest.

Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. Lanjigarh
Distt: Kalahandi
Pin: 766 027
Orissa

 22
L)
Shanika
From: Shanika[shani@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 2:01 PM
To: `Swayam Mishra' Swaminathan G'
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in; S R
Subramanyam; Sarika Singh

Subject: RE: Offer for imported Bauxite

Dear Mr. Swayam,
 As confirmed by Mr. Swaminathan the Demurrage rate is US$
69,000 per day. This is the offer given by owners and cannot be reduced
any further.

Regards
Shanika Peiris
Assistant Manager-Commercial
TRIMEX INITERNATIONAL FZE
P.O. BOX 17056,
Dubai, UAI
Tel:971-4-8835544, Ext. 208
Fax:-971-4-8836410
 971-6522083

M)
Shanika
From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 2:41 PM
To: shani@trimexgroup.com
 `S R Subramanyam'; `Swaminathan G'
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in;
Sarika Singh

Subject: Re: Offer for imported bauxite

Dear Swaminathan,

 23
 We confirm the order for 5 shipments as per our last discussions.
At the same time we would like to have a termination clause after 2
shipments.

Thanks

Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. Lanjigarh
Distt: Kalahandi
Pin: 766 027
Orissa

N)
From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:06 PM
To: Swaminathan G'
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in;
sarika.singh@vedanta.co.in; Shanika; S.R. Subramanyam; T. Prasanna
Kumar Patro; N. Chellappa
Subject: Re: Offer for imported bauxite

Dear Swaminathan,
 We confirm the deal for 5 shipments.

Thanks
Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. Lanjigarh
Distt: Kalahandi
Pin: 766 027
Orissa

O)
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:49 PM
To: swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in

Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in;
sarika.singh@vedanta.co.in Shanika; SR Subramanyam; tpk.
Patro@vedanta.co.in; n. chellappa@vedanta.co.in

 24
Subject: Re: Offer for imported bauxite

Dear Swayam,

Thanks for the confirmation just in time to go to Owners

Regards
Swami

P)
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:57 PM
To: Shaun.Barry@comalco.riotinto.com.au;
Chandra.Chandrashekhar@riotinto.com.au

Cc: Shanika

Subject: 200K Bauxite for Vedanta

Dear Shaun

Deal is through for 5 Shipments.

Shall give you shipping schedule agreed with owners and details by
tomorrow.

Special word of appreciation to the RTA team led by Mark for the support
and patience in putting this thru. It's like carrying coal to Newcastle!!!

Thanks & Regards

Swami

Q)
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:12 AM
To: swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in

Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in
Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in; Shanika; SR Subramanyam;
Suvendu.sahoo@vedanta.co.in

 25
Subject: Re: Inactive Role of Agent.

Dear Swayam

Small check n revert and advise them suitably.

Meantime please send draft agreement.

Regards
Swami

--------Original Message-------
From: Swayam Mishraswayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in
To: Swaminathan G

Cc:ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; <ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in>

Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in;<Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in;> Shanika;
SR Subramanyam; Suvendu.Sekhar Sahoo
Suvendu.Sahoo@vedanta.co.in

Sent: Wed Oct 17 10:56:43 2007

Subject: Inactive role of Agent

Dear Mr. Swaminathan,

On one hand where we are going to do 5 future shipments of imported
bauxite, it is sad to notice that your agent at Vizag port is not taking
enough initiative to handle the first shipment even!!!

While our stevedores and representatives are constantly following up
with the port authorities to grant us a berth, your agent is being too
noncommittal. Please advice your agent to play a more active role in the
whole process.

Thanks
Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. Lanjigarh
Distt: Kalahandi
Pin: 766 027
Orissa

 26
R)
Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2007 09:08 AM
To: swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in

Cc: Shanika; SR Subramanyam;

Subject: Contract for bauxite shipments
Importance: High

Dear Swayam,

As per the agreements with Owners the following is the schedule of
shipments:
 1) Laycan agreed with owners:
November 2007-15th/30th
December 2007-Suggested 5th/20th (to be agreed)
January 2008-15th/30th
February 2088-14th/28th
March 2008-15th/30th
 In view of this, we need to quickly complete the execution of
agreement and establishing of L/c as discussed on Thursday. I am
awaiting the draft agreement so that we can move forward. Also please
confirm if you have surrendered the Original B/L for the present
consignment to Master as vessel is likely to finish soon.
Matter most urgent.
Regards,
Swami
 Annexure P-4
 VAL SITE, Lanjigarh
 Minutes of the Meeting
M/s Vedanta Aluminium Limited M/s Timex Group
Mr. Rajesh Mohata Mr. G. Swaminathan
Mr. Venkat Rao Mr. S.R. Subramaniam
Mr. Swayam Mishra
Mr. N. Chellappa
Ms. Sarika Singh

*The Agenda of the meeting was:
1. Supply of Bauxite from Katni
2. Supply of Bauxite from Gujarat
3. Imported Bauxite from Australia

Bauxite from Katni

 27
 1. Trimex will give its commercial offer within 20th Nov. 2007 to VAL.

Bauxite from Gujarat
 1. VAL has asked Trimex to re-work the offer to provide a supply
 schedule till March 30th, 2008 against Trimex's deadline of June
 2008.
 2. The rate offered by Trimex is Rs. 1250 PMT (FOB)
 Okha/Porbander). VAL has asked for a decrease in rates. Trimex
 will provide its final offer by 29.10.2007.
 3. For the existing contract of supply of 10000 MT of bauxite
 through rakes, further movements will ensue after the due
 discussions. For the punitive charges levied by railways against
 the 1st Rake moved from Okha, Trimex has been advised to take
 up the issue with the Railways officials at Okha.
Imported Bauxite from Australia
 1. For the shipments under the proposed new contract of 2 Lacs MT.
Trimex requested to clearly mention the following clauses:

i) As per Trimex offer No. TID/F/223/2007 dated 15th October 2007 and
accepted by VAL, the price is on CIF-FO basis. As per Trimex under
such a situation the berthing responsibility should be with VAL.
ii) A copy of base Charter Party Agreement and fixture terms shall be
provided by Trimex, which should be deemed incorporated in the
Purchase agreement.
iii) The Discharge rate agreed should be clearly mentioned in the
Purchase agreement.
 2. VAL will confirm on the feasibility of discharging the cargo at
 Kakinada port and accordingly TRIMEX will discuss with the
 Vessel Owners.
 3. For the demurrage incurred in the shipment of MV Nena C vide
 Order No. VAL/OPRN/526 dated 10.09.07, Trimex claims that the
 same is on VAL's account as the agreement was on CIF-
 Visakhapatnam basis. VAL will give its opinion on the same.
 4. Trimex has asked to finalise on the new contract and the
 demurrage by end of office hours on 30.10.2007.

 Sd/- Sd/-
 (Rajesh Mohata) (G. Swaminathan)
 Sd/- Sd/-
 (N. Chellapa) (SR Subramaniam)
 Sd/-
 (Venkat Rao)
 Sd/-
 (Sarika Singh)
 Sd/-
 (Swayam Mishra)

 28
S)
 Annexure P-5

Swaminathan G
From: Swaminathan G
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:23 PM
To: `Swayam Mishra'; Rajesh.Mohata@vedanta.co.in

Cc: SR Subramanyam; Shanika; ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in

Subject: FW:BULKHANDING TBN/TRIMEX-WEIPA/VIJZAG

Dear Swayam,
With reference to our discussions, please find the fixture terms for the
new contract. We are getting the draft CP for this COA and hence we
shall send that shortly instead of the base CP as it will contain all
amendments for this business. We are expecting this any time today
from Owner.

Regards

Swami

T)
 Annexure P-6
srs
From: Shanika (shani@trimexgroup.com)
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 6:40 PM
To: `Swayam Mishra'
CC: `SR Subramanyam'; Rajesh.Mohata@vedanta.co.in

Subject: Draft CP for 5 x 45000 mt LM Bauxite
Attachments: LM Bxt COA PC.pdf; LM Bxt COA RC.doc

Attn: Mr. Swayam Mishra

Copy of draft C/P just received from owners is attached. It is very likely
that Owners will nominate the performing vessel for the first shipment
in November 2007. Hence, we request you to expedite finalization of
contract and L/c so as to avoid any delays.

Rgards

 29
Shanika Peris
Assistant Manager-Commercial
TRIMEX INTERNATIONAL
P.O. BOX 17056,
Dubai, UAE
Tel:971-4-8835544 Ext. 208
Fax:-971-4-8836410, 971-5-6522083

U)

Shanika
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 08:45 AM
To: Swayam Mishra
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in
Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in; Shanika, S R Subramanyam;
Venkateshwar Rao; KS Bala

Subject: Re: Import Consginment (2 lacs)
Importance: High
Top Priority/Most Urgent

Dear Swayam,

 At the outset wish you all a very Happy Diwali.

 We got a feed back from owners late last night that they will look at
your request on arrival draft at 11.5 mts and Kakinada port on a case
basis at the time of each nomination without Guarantee. This is due to
the reason they are not sure what kind of vessel will be in position in
that area.

 Meanwhile, as already mentioned let us proceed with contract and
L/c as we are left with bare minimum time before Owner will nominate a
vessel for the first laycan starting 15-30 Nov anytime from tomorrow. We
have to establish our L/c on RTA and this is already overdue.

We should have too much pressure at last minute and could result in
demurrage at loadport as holidays are on from tomorrow in Middle East
and India.

 30
Please rush the agreement for signature.

Best Regards

Swami

V)
Shanika
From: Shanika [shani@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 11:20 AM
To: Swayam Mishra
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in
Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in; S R Subramanyam; `Swaminathan G'

Subject: Agreement for 5 x 45, 000 mt LM Bauxite
Importance: High
Urgent

Attn: Mr. Swayam Mishra

We have just received feed back from Owners. On 11.5 meters Draft they
have indicated an increase of US$3.5 pmt which will make the price
US$97.00 pmt CIF Free Out kakinada if you were to have an option
additionally for Kakinada. The following terms would be applicable:

 - Discharge port to be declared before vessels arrival at load port.
 - Discharge basis Kakinada "One Safe Berth"
All other discharge port terms etc., will be the same. You may introduce
this into the Contract as an additional clause and prepare draft urgently
and sent it to us.

Regards
Shanika Peiris
Assistant Manager-Commercial
Shanika
W)
From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 12:28 PM
To: shani@trimexgroup.com
Cc: ChinmayeePanda@vedanta.co.in; Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in;
Sarika Singh; S.R. Subramanyam; `Swaminathan G'; Venkateshwar Rao;
N. Chellappa

 31
Subject: Option on Draft and Port

Dear Shanika,

 Please confirm if the increase in rate is due to the decrease in draft
or change in port.

Thanks

Swayam Mishra
Commercial Department
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd. Lanjigarh
Distt: Kalahandi
Pin: 766 027
Orissa

X)
 Annexure P-8

From: Swayam Mishra [swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 2:28 PM
To: Swaminathan G
Cc: Rajesh.mohata@vedanta.co.in; Shanika; S.R. Subramanyam; N.
Chellappa; Sarika Singh; Chinmayee Panda; Venkateshwar Rao;

Subject: Draft Contract for Import Bauxite---5 shipments

Attachments: Trimex-imported-5 shipments 1.doc

Dear Mr. Swaminathan,

Please find attached the draft contract.

Thanks

Swayam Mishra

Commercial Department

 32
PO NO: VAL/OPRN/719 Date-08.11.2007

 PURCHASE ORDER

M/s Trimex International FZE
Dubai

Sub: Purchase Order for supply of Low Monohydrate Grade Bauxite

Ref: Offer No. TID/F/223/2007, Dated 15.10.2007 and our subsequent
discussions held there on.

Dear Sir,
 With reference to the above offer and subsequent discussions we
had with you, we are pleased to place this Purchase Order on you for
supply of 225000 +/- 10% MT Low Monohydrate Grade Bauxite as per
the following terms and conditions...........
.....Definition of Term
29. Arbitration
The Parties hereto shall endeavour to settle all disputes and differences
relating to and/or arising out of the Contract amicably.
In the event of the Parties failing to resolve any dispute amicably the
same shall be referred to Arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration
and Conciliation Act 1996, as is prevalent in India. Each Party shall be
entitled to nominate an Arbitrator and the two Arbitrators so nominated
shall jointly nominate a third presiding Arbitrator. The Arbitrators shall
give a reasoned award.

The place of arbitration shall be Mumbai, Maharashtra in accordance
with Indian Law and the language of the arbitration shall be English.

The Parties further agree that any arbitration award shall be final and
binding upon both the Parties.

The Parties hereto agree that the Seller shall be obliged to carry out its
obligations under the Contract even in the event a dispute is referred to
Arbitration.

30. Governing Law
This Contract shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the
laws of Indian and in the event of any litigation the Courts in Mumbai
shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

 33
This order is being issued in duplicate. You are requested to send the
duplicate copy duly signed as a token of acceptance of the terms and
conditions.

Thanking you

Yours faithfully
For Vedanta Alumina Limited

Rajesh Mohata
GM-Commercial

AA)
Re: Draft Contract

SHANIKA
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 6:29 PM
To: swayam.mishra@vedanta.co.in
Cc: SR Subramanyam; Shanika; Rajesh.Mohata@vedanta.co.in;
Chinmayee.Panda@vedanta.co.in

Subject: Re: Draft Contract

In final stage
Shall send very soon

Regards

AB)
 Annexure P-10

SHANIKA
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 7:30 PM
To: Swayam Mishra
Cc: Rajesh.Mohata@vedanta.co.in; Chinmayee.Panda@vedanta.co.in; SR
Subramanyam; Shanika; n.chellappa@vedanta.co.in;
sarika.singh@vedanta.co.in; Venkateshwar Rao

 34
Subject: Trimex-Imported_5 shipments 1.doc
Importance : High
Attachments: Trimex-Imported_5 shipments 1.doc

Dear Swayam,

Please find the draft contract with clarification on various points as
discussed in meetings and on phone today.

Please confirm the same in order.

Best regards

Swami.

AC)
 Annexure P-12
From: Rajesh Mohata [mail to: Rajesh.Mohata@vedanta.co.in]
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 2:18 PM
To: Swaminathan G; Shanika; SR Subramanyam
Cc: Venkateshwar Rao; Swayam Mishra; Umesh Mehta

Subject: Trimex International

Dear Mr. Swaminathan,
 We have recently received bauxite from first import congisnment at
Plant. Our operation team is in process to find out recovery and value
addition for using this bauxite in actual plant condition. This may take
some time. In view of this we may have to hold procurement for the next
consignment.
 We request you to put on hold the next consignment till further
advise.

Regards

Rajesh Mohata
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd.

Mobile +91 99372 51229
(Please note with immediate effect our company name changed to
"Vedanta Aluminium Ltd.")

 35
AD)
SHANIKA
From: Swaminathan G [swami@trimexgroup.com]
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 3:20 PM
To: Rajesh Mohata
Cc: Venkateshwar Rao; Swayam Mishra; Umesh Mehta; Shanika; SR
Subramanyam

Subject: Re: Trimex International
Importance : High

Dear Mr. Rajesh,
 This is a bit shocking at this juncture as vessel nomination is due from
the Owners any time now against the COA.
 First, we have to go them urgently and ask them to defer the first vessel
by 15 days until 1st December as proposed by you on phone. In that case there
will be two vessels in December subject to RTA agreement. There might be
claims from them. But before we talk to them we need VAL's confirmation that
any claims from Owners for the delay or cancellation of any or all shipment(s)
under this contract will be fully guaranteed to us and that VAL will pay the
amount without demur.
 Matter urgent as we have to act fast before Owners nominate any vessel.
 As far as RTA is concerned we shall take-up and hope they will agree to a
revised schedule as they are fully booked for December and thereafter this will
have also to be agreed with Owners.
 Please respond by return mail for us to talk to RTA/Owners.
 We shall try and do our best but before that we need VAL's clear
confirmation on above.

Regards

Swami

From the materials placed, it has to be ascertained

whether there exists a valid contract with the arbitration

clause. It is relevant to note that on 15.10.2007 at 4.26

 36
p.m. the petitioner submitted commercial offer wherein

clause 6 contains arbitration clause i.e. "this contract is

governed by Indian law and arbitration in Mumbai

courts". At 5.34 p.m. though respondents offered their

comments, as rightly pointed out by Mr. K.K.Venugopal,

no comments were made in respect of `arbitration clause'.

It is further seen that at 6.04 p.m. the petitioner sent a

reply to the comments made by the respondent. Again on

16.10.2007, at 11.28 a.m. though respondents suggested

certain additional information on the offer note, here again

no suggestion was made with regard to arbitration clause.

At 11.48 a.m. the petitioner sent an e-mail extending

validity of the offer by another one hour. At 01.38 p.m.,

the respondent made certain suggestions on the

demurrage asking the petitioner to either reduce the

freight rate or the demurrage rate. On the same day at

02.01 p.m., the petitioner sent a reply on the demurrage

stating that the rates cannot be reduced any further. At

02.41 p.m., the respondent informed the petitioner that

 37
they would like to have a termination clause after two

shipments. At 03.06 p.m., the petitioner sent a mail

stating that "no owner will accept this condition.

Respondent may accept two or five quickly". At 03.06

p.m. the respondent accepted the offer for five shipments.

In response to the same at 03.49 p.m., the petitioner

thanked the respondent for acceptance and conveyed that

it was "just in time" to go to the ship owners. At 03.57

p.m. the petitioner finalized the contract with the bauxite

supplier in Australia. Apart from the above minute to

minute correspondences exchanged between the parties

regarding offer and acceptance, as rightly pointed out by

Mr. Venugopal the offer of 15.10.2007 contains all

essential ingredients for a valid acceptance by the

respondents namely, 1). Offer Validity period 2) Product

Description 3) Quantity 4) Price per tonne 5) Delivery

Terms (CIF) 6) Payment Terms (Irrevocable L/C) 7)

Shipment Lots 8) Discharge Port 9) Discharge Rate

with international shipping acronyms 10) Demurrage Rate

 38
11) Period of Shipment 12) Vessel Details 13) Draft

(Port/Berth Capacity corresponding to height of cargo) 14)

Stipulations as to Survey by Independent Surveyors 15)

Quality benchmark 16) Bonus/Penalty Rates & 17)

Applicable Laws (Indian Law) and Arbitration.

 The minute to minute correspondence exchanged

between the parties, all the conditions prescribed which

had been laid down, awareness of urgency of accepting the

offer without any further delay to avoid variation in the

freight or other factors, coupled with the e-mail sent on

16.10.2007 at 3.06 p.m. under the subject "re: offer for

imported bauxite" stated in unequivocal terms, i.e. "we

confirm the deal for five shipments", would clearly go to

show that after understanding all the details and the

confirmation by the respondent, the petitioner sent a reply

stating that "thanks for the confirmation, just in time

to go to the ship owners". All the above details clearly

establish that both the parties were aware of various

conditions and understood the terms and finally

 39
the charter was entered into a contract by the parties on

17.10.2007.

8) Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned senior counsel for the

respondent taking me through the same

emails/correspondence submitted that such clauses being

unclear and ambiguous, cannot be permitted to stand on

its own footing so as to deprive the respondent of its valid

defence. He also reiterated that in the absence of a

concluded and binding contract between the parties, the

arbitration clause contained in draft agreement cannot be

relied on by the petitioner. He further pointed out that the

arbitration clause as contained in the commercial offer

suffers from vice of being unclear and ambiguous and,

therefore, is not capable of being enforced.

9) In the light of the details which have been extracted in

the earlier paragraphs, I am unable to accept the stand of

the respondent. It is clear that if the intention of the

parties was to arbitrate any dispute which arose in

relation to the offer of 15.10.2007 and the acceptance of

 40
16.10.2007, the dispute is to be settled through

arbitration. Once the contract is concluded orally or in

writing, the mere fact that a formal contract has to be

prepared and initialed by the parties would not affect

either the acceptance of the contract so entered into or

implementation thereof, even if the formal contract has

never been initialed.

10) The acceptance conveyed by the respondent, which

has already been extracted supra, satisfies the

requirements of Section 4 of the Indian Contract Act 1872.

Section 4 reads as under:

 "Communication when complete-
 The communication of an acceptance is complete.... as
 against the acceptor, when it comes to the knowledge
 of the proposer."

As rightly pointed out by the learned senior counsel for

the petitioner, when Mr. Swaminathan of Trimex opened

the email of Mr. Swayam Mishra of Vedanta at 3:06 PM on

16.10.2007, it came to his knowledge that an irrevocable

contract was concluded. Apart from this, the mandate of

 41
Section 7 of the Indian Contract Act stipulated that an

acceptance must be absolute and unconditional has also

been fulfilled. It is true that in the first acceptance

conveyed by the respondent contained a rider, namely,

cancellation after 2 shipments which made acceptance

conditional. However, taking note of the said condition,

the petitioner requested the respondent to convey an

unconditional acceptance which was readily done through

his email sent at 3:06 PM with the words "we confirm the

deal for 5 shipments", which is unconditional and

unqualified. As rightly pointed out by the learned senior

counsel for the petitioner, the respondent was wholly

aware of the fact that its agreement with the petitioner

was interconnected with the ship owner. In other words,

once the offer of the petitioner was accepted following a

very strict time schedule, the respondent could not escape

from the obligations that flowed from such an action.

 42
11) The Court of Appeal in the case of Pagnan SPA vs.

Feed Products Ltd., [1987] Vol. 2, Lloyd's Law Reports

619 observed as follows:

 "It is sometimes said that the parties must agree on the
 essential terms and that it is only matters of detail
 which can be left over. This may be misleading, since
 the word `essential' in that context is ambiguous. If by
 `essential' one means a term without which the contract
 cannot be enforced then the statement is true: the law
 cannot enforce an incomplete contract. If by `essential'
 one means a term which the parties have agreed to be
 essential for the formation of a binding contract, then
 the statement is tautologous. If by `essential' one
 means only a term which the Court regards as
 important as opposed to a term which the Court regards
 as less important or a matter of detail, the statement is
 untrue. It is for the parties to decide whether they wish
 to be bound and, if so, by what terms, whether
 important or unimportant. It is the parties who are, in
 the memorable phrase coined by the Judge, "the
 masters of their contractual fate". Of course, the more
 important the term is the less likely it is that the parties
 will have left it for future decision. But there is no legal
 obstacle which stands in the way of the parties agreeing
 to be bound now while deferring important matters to
 be agreed later. It happens every day when parties
 enter into so-called `heads of agreement'."

The above principle has been consistently followed by the

English Courts in the cases of Mamidoil-Jetoil Greek

Petroleum Co. S.A. v. Okta Crude Oil Refinery AD,

(2001) Vol. 2 Lloyd's Law Reports 76 at p. 89; Wilson

Smithett & Cape (Sugar) Ltd. vs. Bangladesh Sugar

 43
and Food Industries Corporation, (1986) Vol. 1 Lloyd's

Law Reports 378 at p. 386. In addition, Indian law has

not evolved a contrary position. The celebrated judgment

of Lord Du Parcq in Shankarlal Narayandas Mundade

v. The New Mofussil Co. Ltd. & Ors. AIR 1946 PC 97

makes it clear that unless an inference can be drawn from

the facts that the parties intended to be bound only when

a formal agreement had been executed, the validity of the

agreement would not be affected by its lack of formality.

In the present case, where the Commercial Offer carries

no clause making the conclusion of the contract

incumbent upon the Purchase Order, it is clear that the

basic and essential terms have been accepted by the

respondent, without any option but to treat the same as a

concluded contract.

12) Though Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned senior counsel

heavily relied on the judgment of this Court in Dresser

Rand S.A. v. Bindal Agro Chem Ltd., (2006) 1 SCC 751,

the same is distinguishable because in that case only

 44
general conditions of purchase were agreed upon and no

order was placed. On the other hand, in the case on

hand, specific order for 5 shipments was placed and only

some minor details were to be finalized through further

agreement. This Court in Dresser Rand S.A (supra)

rejected the contention that the acceptance of a

modification to the General Conditions would not

constitute the conclusion of the contract itself. On the

other hand, in the present case, after the suggested

modifications had crystallized over several emails.

Further in para 32 in Dresser Rand S.A (supra) this

Court held that "parties agreeing upon the terms subject

to which a contract will be governed, when made, is not

the same as entering into the contract itself" whereas in

the case on hand, the moment the commercial offer was

accepted by the respondent, the contract came into

existence. Though in para 44 of the Dresser Rand S.A

(supra), it is recorded that neither the Letter of Intent nor

the General Conditions contained any arbitration

 45
agreement, in the case on hand, the arbitration agreement

is found in clause 6 of the Commercial Offer. In view of

the same, reliance placed by the respondent on Dresser

Rand S.A (supra) is wholly misplaced and cannot be

applied to the case on hand where the parties have arrived

at a concluded contract.

13) Mr. Venugopal pointed out that the Charter Party

Agreements are governed as per international shipping

practices. The normal procedure is that the brokers from

both sides first agree on the vital terms over phone/telex

(these terms relate to Freight, Type of Ship, Lay Can

(Period of shipping), Demurrage Rate, Cranes, etc.) At this

stage, no agreement is formally signed but the terms are

binding on both the parties, as per the Contract of

Affreightment (CoA), which in the present case was

entered into on the next day, i.e. 17.10.2007. Certain

minor modifications could go on from either side on

mutual agreement but in the absence of any further

modification, the originally agreed terms of the CoA are

 46
binding on both the parties. Till the agreement is actually

signed by both the parties, the term draft is used. This

does not mean that the terms are not binding as between

the Petitioner and the Ship-owners. Further, according to

him, the existence of the Charter Party, various

international shipping practices etc. which are to be

pleaded in detail before the Arbitral Tribunal once it is

constituted and not before this Court since this means

extensive quoting of shipping laws and decided cases

which cannot be done in the present arbitration petition.

The above submissions cannot be under estimated.

14) Both in the counter affidavit as well as at the time of

arguments Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned senior counsel for

the respondent has pointed out various differences

between the version of the respondent and the petitioner.

However, a close scrutiny of the same shows that there

were only minor differences that would not affect the

intention of the parties. It is essential that the intention of

the parties be considered in order to conclude whether

 47
parties were ad idem as far as adopting arbitration as a

method of dispute resolution was concerned. In those

circumstances, the stand of the respondent that in the

absence of signed contract, the arbitration clause cannot

be relied upon is liable to be rejected.

15) Smita Conductors Ltd. vs. Euro Alloys Ltd. (2001)

7 SCC 728 was a case where a contract containing an

arbitration clause was between the parties but no

agreement was signed between the paties. The Bombay

High Court held that the arbitration clause in the

agreement was binding. Finally, this Court upholding the

judgment of the Bombay High Court held that the

arbitration clause in the agreement that was exchanged

between the parties was binding.

16) In Shakti Bhog Foods Limited vs. Kola Shipping

Limited, (2009) 2 SCC 134, this Court held that from the

provisions made under Section 7 of the Arbitration and

Conciliation Act, 1996 that the existence of an arbitration

agreement can be inferred from a document signed by the

 48
parties, or an exchange of letters, telex, telegrams or other

means of telecommunication, which provide a record of

the agreement.

17) It is clear that in the absence of signed agreement

between the parties, it would be possible to infer from

various documents duly approved and signed by the

parties in the form of exchange of e-mails, letter, telex,

telegrams and other means of tele-communication.

18) Though, Mr. C.A. Sundaram, relied on several

decisions, in view of clear materials in the form of

emails/correspondence between the parties, those

decisions are not germane to the issue on hand.

19) Before winding up, it is useful to refer the latest

decision of this Court about the object of Arbitration and

Conciliation Act, 1996. In Great Offshore Ltd. vs.

Iranian Offshore Engg. & Construction Co., (2008) 14

SCC 240, this Court while considering the objects and

 49
provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996,

held:

 "59 The court has to translate the legislative intention
 especially when viewed in light of one of the Act's "main
 objectives": "to minimize the supervisory role of courts in the
 arbitral process." [See Statements of Objects and Reasons of
 Section 4(v) of the Act.] If this Court adds a number of extra
 requirements such as stamps, seals and originals, we would
 be enhancing our role, not minimizing it. Moreover, the cost
 of doing business would increase. It takes time to
 implement such formalities. What is even more worrisome is
 that the parties' intention to arbitrate would be foiled by
 formality. Such a stance would run counter to the very idea
 of arbitration, wherein tribunals all over the world generally
 bend over backwards to ensure that the parties' intention to
 arbitrate is upheld. Adding technicalities disturb the parties'
 "autonomy of the will" (1' autonomie de la volonte') i.e. their
 wishes. (For a general discussion on this doctrine see Law
 and Practice of International Commerical Arbitration, Alan
 Redfern and Martin Hunter, Street & Maxwell, London, 1986
 at pp.4 and 53.)

 60. Technicalities like stamps, seals and even signatures are
 red tape that have to be removed before the parties can get
 what they really want--an efficient, effective and potentially
 cheap resolution of their dispute. The autonomie de la
 volonte' doctrine is enshrined in the policy objectives of the
 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
 (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial
 Arbitration, 1985, on which our Arbitration Act is based.
 (See Preamble to the Act.) the courts must implement
 legislative intention. It would be improper and undesirable
 for the courts to add a number of extra formalities not
 envisaged by the legislation. The courts' directions should
 be to achieve the legislative intention.

 61. One of the objectives of the UNCITRAL Model Law reads
 as under:
 "the liberalization of international commercial
 arbitration by limiting the role of national courts, and
 by giving effect to the doctrine `autonomy of will',
 allowing the parties the freedom to choose how their
 disputes should be determined". [See Policy Objectives
 adopted by UNCITRAL in the preparation of the Model

 50
 Law, as cited in Law and Practice of International
 Commercial Arbitration, Alan Redfern and Martin
 Hunter, Street & Maxwell, London (1986) at p. 388
 (citing UN doc.A/CN.9/07, Paras 16-27).]

 62. It goes without saying, but in the interest of providing
 the parties a comprehensive review of their arguments, I note
 that once it is established that the faxed CPA is valid, it
 follows that a valid contract and a valid arbitration clause
 exist. This contract, the faxed CPA, does not suffer from a
 conditional clause, as did the letter of intent. Thus, the
 respondent's argument that the parties were not ad idem
 must fail."

20) In view of the settled legal position and conclusion

based on acceptable documents, I hold that the petitioner

has made out a case for appointment of an Arbitrator in

accordance with Clause 6 of the Purchase Order dated

15.10.2007 and subsequent materials exchanged between

the parties. Inasmuch as in respect of the earlier contract

between the same parties, Justice B.N. Srikrishna, former

Judge of this Court is adjudicating the same as an

Arbitrator at Mumbai, it is but proper and convenient for

both parties to have the assistance of the same Hon'ble

Judge.

21) Accordingly, Hon'ble Mr. Justice B.N. Srikrishna,

former Judge of this Court is appointed as an Arbitrator to

 51
resolve the dispute between the parties. It is made clear

that this Court has not expressed anything on the merits

of the claim made by both parties and whatever

conclusion arrived at is confined to appointment of an

Arbitrator. It is further made clear that it is for the

Arbitrator to decide the issue on merits after affording

adequate opportunity to both parties. In terms of the

Arbitration clause, the place of Arbitration is fixed at

Mumbai. The Arbitrator is at liberty to fix his remuneration

and other expenses which shall be borne equally by both the

parties.

22) Arbitration petition is allowed on the above terms.

No costs. ..........................................J.
 (P. SATHASIVAM)
NEW DELHI;
JANUARY 22, 2010. 52
53

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