Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Section 48(2)(b) — Objection to enforcement of foreign award –

August 24th, 2013

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Section 48(2)(b) — Objection to enforcement of foreign award — Plea of reliance on report inconsistent with terms of contract, Not falling in any category of contrary to public policy of India, Effect of — Contract between appellants/sellers and respondents/buyers regarding a transaction of Durum wheat, Indian Origin — Dispute arose and referred to Tribunal — Arbitral Tribunal, GAFTA accepted the buyers’ case and passed award in favour of the respondent — Respondents/Buyers instituted a suit in the Delhi High Court for enforcement of the awards — Appellants/Sellers raised diverse objections to the enforcement of awards, alleging that awards are contrary to the public policy of India inasmuch as they are contrary to the express provisions of the contract entered into between the parties — Sellers contended that Board of Appeal erred in accepting the test report by S.G.S. Geneva whereas under the contract, it was the test report of S.G.S.India that was material — Held, even if it be assumed that the Board of Appeal erred in relying upon the report obtained by buyers which was inconsistent with the terms on which the parties had contracted in the contract and wrongly rejected the report of the contractual agency, such errors would not bar the enforceability of the appeal awards passed by the Board of Appeal — While considering the enforceability of foreign awards, the court does not exercise appellate jurisdiction over the foreign award nor does it enquire as to whether, while rendering foreign award, some error has been committed — Enforcement of a foreign award can be refused only if such enforcement is found to be contrary to (1) fundamental policy of Indian law; or (2) the interests of India; or (3) justice or morality — The objections raised by the appellant do not fall in any of these categories and, therefore, the foreign awards cannot be held to be contrary to public policy of India — Dismissed.

(Para 44 & 45)

Shri Lal Mahal Ltd. v. Progetto Grano SPA[Bench Strength 3], Civil Appeal No. 5085/2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 13721/2012)(03/07/2013), 2013(4) R.A.J. 1: 2013(8) SCALE 489 [R.M. Lodha, J.: Madan B. Lokur, J.: Kurian Joseph, J.]

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