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Arbitration disputes – only point for appeal is that The Division Bench, by the order under appeal dated 12.06.2013, allowed the appeal in part in respect of charges, namely, crane hire charges and interest. – Apex court held that we find that the learned Division Bench has not kept in mind the aforesaid provisions in the Work Order and the Tender Document. BHEL was neither required to issue any notice for exercising its right to recover crane hire charges for Unit III, nor was it required to deduct such charges from the running bills of the respondent. There is no dispute or issue as regards quantum of such charges claimed by the appellant but the Arbitral Tribunal allowed it only to the extent of Rs.8.25 lac although the Tribunal itself found that the respondent had failed to produce any material in support of its defence that because the crane was out of order for a number of days when Unit No.II was under erection/instalment and, therefore, the respondent became entitled to use the crane without hire charges for Unit No.III. In such circumstances, we find that the crane hire charges claimed by the appellant were wrongly disallowed by the order under appeal passed by the Division Bench. As a result, it is held that appellant is entitled for crane hire charges and, therefore, that amount needs to be deducted from the amount payable to the respondent under the Award on other heads. It is also held that the appellant is not liable to pay any pre-Award interest and the interest @ 10.5% p.a. shall be payable by the appellant only from the date of Award till the date of payment on the Award amount now found payable, if any. We order accordingly. The order under appeal is set aside to the aforesaid extent. The appeal is allowed accordingly. No costs.= CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8373 OF 2014 [Arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.35021 of 2013] Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. …..Appellant Versus Tata Projects Ltd. …..Respondent = 2014 – Sep. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41858

 Arbitration disputes – only point for appeal is that The  Division Bench, by the order under appeal dated 12.06.2013,  allowed  the  appeal  in part in respect of charges, namely, crane hire  charges  and  interest.   – Apex court held that  we find that the  learned  Division Bench has not kept in mind the aforesaid provisions in the  Work  Order  and the Tender Document.  

BHEL was neither required  to  issue  any  notice  for exercising its right to recover crane hire charges for Unit III, nor was  it required to deduct such charges from the running bills  of  the  respondent. There is no dispute or issue as regards quantum of such charges  claimed  by

the appellant but the Arbitral Tribunal allowed it only  to  the  extent  of Rs.8.25 lac although the Tribunal  itself  found  that  the  respondent  had failed to produce any material in support of its defence  that  because  the crane was out of order for a number  of  days  when  Unit  No.II  was  under erection/instalment and, therefore, the respondent became  entitled  to  use

the crane without hire charges for Unit No.III.   In such  circumstances,  we find that the crane hire charges  claimed  by  the  appellant  were  wrongly disallowed by the order under appeal passed by the Division Bench. As a result, it is held that appellant is entitled for  crane  hire  charges and, therefore, that amount needs to be deducted from the amount payable  to

the respondent under the Award on other heads.   It is  also  held  that  the appellant is not liable to pay any pre-Award interest  and  the  interest  @  10.5% p.a. shall be payable by the appellant only from  the  date  of  Award till the date of payment on the Award amount now found payable, if any. We order accordingly.  The order under appeal is set  aside  to  the  aforesaid extent.  The appeal is allowed accordingly.  No costs.=

The  appellant  was  required  to

set up some plant or boiler units.  

 For  completing  that  work,  appellant

issued a notice inviting tender for  engaging  a  sub-contractor  to  erect,

test and commission two 120 MW boilers (Unit II and Unit III) on  behalf  of

the appellant.   

The  value  of  the  contract  awarded  in  favour  of  the

respondent was Rs.6,99,40,000/-.  Pursuant to disputes and  differences,  an

Arbitral Tribunal consisting of three arbitrators came  to  be  constituted.

The Arbitral Tribunal awarded Rs.69.22 lac on  various  heads  and  Rs.25.39

lac on account of interest.   

The  appellant  instituted  proceedings  under

Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (for brevity,  ‘the

Act’).  

That proceeding bearing A.P. No.213 of 2006 was finally  decided  by

a learned Single Judge of the High Court of  Calcutta  on  04.01.2013.   The

objections of the appellant were allowed in part in respect  of  only  three

counts relating to over-run charges, crane hire charges and interest.

The respondent filed an appeal being A.P.O. No.60  of  2013.  

 The  Division

Bench, by the order under appeal dated 12.06.2013,  allowed  the  appeal  in

part in respect of charges, namely, crane hire  charges  and  interest.   

In

the present appeal only those two issues have been raised on behalf  of  the

appellant. =

  On going through the order under appeal, we find that the  learned  Division

Bench has not kept in mind the aforesaid provisions in the  Work  Order  and

the Tender Document.  

BHEL was neither required  to  issue  any  notice  for

exercising its right to recover crane hire charges for Unit III, nor was  it

required to deduct such charges from the running bills  of  the  respondent.

There is no dispute or issue as regards quantum of such charges  claimed  by

the appellant but the Arbitral Tribunal allowed it only  to  the  extent  of

Rs.8.25 lac although the Tribunal  itself  found  that  the  respondent  had

failed to produce any material in support of its defence  that  because  the

crane was out of order for a number  of  days  when  Unit  No.II  was  under

erection/instalment and, therefore, the respondent became  entitled  to  use

the crane without hire charges for Unit No.III.  

In such  circumstances,  we

find that the crane hire charges  claimed  by  the  appellant  were  wrongly

disallowed by the order under appeal passed by the Division Bench.

As a result, it is held that appellant is entitled for  crane  hire  charges

and, therefore, that amount needs to be deducted from the amount payable  to

the respondent under the Award on other heads.  

It is  also  held  that  the

appellant is not liable to pay any pre-Award interest  and  the  interest  @

10.5% p.a. shall be payable by the appellant only from  the  date  of  Award

till the date of payment on the Award amount now found payable, if any.   

We

order accordingly.  The order under appeal is set  aside  to  the  aforesaid

extent.  The appeal is allowed accordingly.  No costs.

 

2014 – Sep. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41858

 

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8373 OF 2014
[Arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.35021 of 2013]

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. …..Appellant

Versus

Tata Projects Ltd. …..Respondent

J U D G M E N T

SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J.

Leave granted.
Heard Mr. Gourab Banerji, Senior Advocate for the appellant and Mr. Gopal
Jain, Senior Advocate for the respondent. The appellant was required to
set up some plant or boiler units. For completing that work, appellant
issued a notice inviting tender for engaging a sub-contractor to erect,
test and commission two 120 MW boilers (Unit II and Unit III) on behalf of
the appellant. The value of the contract awarded in favour of the
respondent was Rs.6,99,40,000/-. Pursuant to disputes and differences, an
Arbitral Tribunal consisting of three arbitrators came to be constituted.
The Arbitral Tribunal awarded Rs.69.22 lac on various heads and Rs.25.39
lac on account of interest. The appellant instituted proceedings under
Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (for brevity, ‘the
Act’). That proceeding bearing A.P. No.213 of 2006 was finally decided by
a learned Single Judge of the High Court of Calcutta on 04.01.2013. The
objections of the appellant were allowed in part in respect of only three
counts relating to over-run charges, crane hire charges and interest.
The respondent filed an appeal being A.P.O. No.60 of 2013. The Division
Bench, by the order under appeal dated 12.06.2013, allowed the appeal in
part in respect of charges, namely, crane hire charges and interest. In
the present appeal only those two issues have been raised on behalf of the
appellant. According to learned senior counsel for the appellant, the
Division Bench has wrongly reversed the order of learned Single Judge on
the issue of crane hire charges inasmuch as the claim of the appellant
asking for payment of crane hire charges by the respondent for Unit III was
based upon clause 12.2.2 of the Work Order read with clauses 2.8.11, 3.38.3
and 3.38.14 of the Agreement/Tender Document. In respect of second issue
relating to interest, learned senior counsel has confined the claim of the
appellant only against grant of pre-Award interest on the basis of clause
1.15.5 of the Tender Document/Agreement.
On the other hand, learned senior counsel for the respondent has submitted
that the Award in respect of crane hire charges is based on an overall view
of entire material available before the Arbitral Tribunal and, therefore,
although the Tribunal finally concluded that “there is nothing on record of
the Arbitral Tribunal to substantiate the ‘understanding’ between the
parties regarding swapping of crane usage days between Units II and III as
has been pleaded by the claimant”, it only allowed Rs.8.25 lac in favour of
appellant’s claim for such charges. According to him, for the same very
reason, taking a holistic view of the whole matter, the Division Bench in
the impugned order took the same view. On behalf of respondent, the grant
of pre-Award interest could not be successfully defended in view of clause
1.15.5 of the Agreement which provides that “no interest shall be payable
by BHEL on earnest money/security deposit or any money due to the
contractor by BHEL”. The ambit and scope of aforesaid clause was subject
matter in Civil Appeal No.7423 of 2005 between the appellant and M/s. Globe
HI-Fabs Ltd. decided on 12.11.2009 wherein this Court accepted and held
that in view of such a provision in the Agreement, interest is only payable
from the date of the Award. The aforesaid legal position ought to have
been accepted by the Division Bench of the High Court in view of law
settled by judgments of this Court in the case of Sayeed Ahmed & Co. v.
State of U.P. & Ors. (2009) 12 SCC 26 and several other cases including the
case of Union of India v. Concrete Products & Construction Co. & Ors.
(2014) 4 SCC 416.
On the issue of award of interest, learned senior counsel for the
respondent tried to persuade us to enhance the post-Award interest granted
by the Arbitral Tribunal @ 10.5% to 18% p.a. in the light of provisions in
Section 31(7)(b) of the Act. We are unable to accept this contention
because the Arbitral Tribunal has already granted post-Award interest @
10.5%. Only if the Award had not made such a direction, the statutory rate
of interest @ 18% p.a. would have been payable from the date of the Award
to the date of payment as per statutory provision noted above.
6. In the light of aforesaid discussion, we are constrained to hold that
the order under appeal ought not to have approved grant of any pre-Award
interest.
7. So far as the issue relating to crane hire charges is concerned,
before expressing our views we think it proper to extract the relevant
clauses of the Work Order, i.e., clause 12, 12.2, 12.2.1 and 12.2.2 as well
as the relevant clauses of the Tender Document/Agreement :
“Relevant extract of Work Order dated 16.03.1999
Terms and conditions

12.0 TOOLS & PLANTS AND CONSUMABLES

You shall provide all necessary consumables and T & Ps (other than those
specified below), measuring instruments, handling equipments as per
provision of contract for timely completion of the total job as per
contract within the accepted rates.

12.2 Following T & Ps will be provided by BHEL to you free of charge as
per provision of contract on availability.

_______________________________________________________

Sl. Description Capacity Quantity
_______________________________________________________

01. Electric winches 10 MT 2 nos.
02. 10 Sheave pulley block 100 MT 4 nos.
03. Hydro test pump 1 no.
04. High Capacity crane (250 T)* 1 no.

The above T & Ps will be made available for the project. You may make
use of the T & Ps as per the provision of tender document.

* In case of 250 T capacity crane, operator and consumable shall be
provided by BHEL. However, the fuel for operation of this crane shall have
to be arranged by you. 250 T Crane shall be available only upto ‘drum
lifting of Unit-2’.”

“RELEVANT EXTRACT OF TENDER DOCUMENT
NO.PSER:SCT:JBA:B2

2.8.11 It is not obligatory on the part of BHEL to supply any tools and
tackles or other materials other than those specifically agreed to do so by
BHEL, however, depending upon the availability, BHEL’s customer’s handling
equipment and other plants may be made available to the contractor on
payment of the hire charge as fixed, subject to the conditions laid down by
BHEL/ customer from time to time. Unless paid to advance such hire
charges, if applicable shall be recovered from contractor’s bill/ security
deposit in one instalment.

3.38.3 The operation of all BHEL equipment (except 250 T Crane) will be
in the scope of the contractor. BHEL will provide free of cost (including
operator and consumables) one number 250 T Crane only upto the Drum Lifting
Milestone of Unit II only. However the Fuel for operating this 250 T Crane
shall have to be arranged by the contractor.

3.38.14 BHEL will provide free of cost (including operator, fuel and
consumables) 250 MT Crane only for the first unit (Unit-2).”

Clause 12 and other sub-clauses thereunder as extracted above show that a
high capacity crane (250 T) is included in the Tools and Plants which will
be provided by BHEL to the respondent free of charge as per provisions of
contract on availability but only upto “drum lifting of Unit II” as
specified in clause 12.2.2. There is no provision either in the Work Order
or in the Agreement/Tender Document to entitle the respondent to claim that
it was not obliged to pay the higher charges as fixed, subject to the
conditions laid down by BHEL from time to time in respect of user of crane
for Unit No.III. To the contrary, the extracts from the Tender Document
contain a clear stipulation for recovery of such charges from the
contractor’s bill/security deposit in one instalment.
On going through the order under appeal, we find that the learned Division
Bench has not kept in mind the aforesaid provisions in the Work Order and
the Tender Document. BHEL was neither required to issue any notice for
exercising its right to recover crane hire charges for Unit III, nor was it
required to deduct such charges from the running bills of the respondent.
There is no dispute or issue as regards quantum of such charges claimed by
the appellant but the Arbitral Tribunal allowed it only to the extent of
Rs.8.25 lac although the Tribunal itself found that the respondent had
failed to produce any material in support of its defence that because the
crane was out of order for a number of days when Unit No.II was under
erection/instalment and, therefore, the respondent became entitled to use
the crane without hire charges for Unit No.III. In such circumstances, we
find that the crane hire charges claimed by the appellant were wrongly
disallowed by the order under appeal passed by the Division Bench.
As a result, it is held that appellant is entitled for crane hire charges
and, therefore, that amount needs to be deducted from the amount payable to
the respondent under the Award on other heads. It is also held that the
appellant is not liable to pay any pre-Award interest and the interest @
10.5% p.a. shall be payable by the appellant only from the date of Award
till the date of payment on the Award amount now found payable, if any. We
order accordingly. The order under appeal is set aside to the aforesaid
extent. The appeal is allowed accordingly. No costs.

……………………………………………………..…….J.
[FAKKIR MOHAMED IBRAHIM KALIFULLA]

……………………………………………………..…….J.
[SHIVA KIRTI SINGH]

New Delhi.
September 01, 2014.
———————–
7

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