Highlighted case: The State of Jharkhand & ors v. M/S Hindustan Constructions Co. Ltd.
Decided on: 14 th December 2017
Coram/Bench: J. Deepak Misra (CJI), J. A.K. Sikri, J. A.M.Khanwilkar, J. D.Y.Chandrachud and J. Ashok
Facts of the Case: A dispute between the parties led to the appointment of an Arbitrator. After the
appointment of said Arbitrator, the Respondent filed a suit in The High Court of Bombay seeking Interim
Injunction restraining the State from encashing upon the Bank Guarantee. The time limit for making the
arbitral award and the extension period had expired, thus the arbitration proceedings were abandoned.
After this the State filed a Money Suit before the Learned Judge I, Saraikella for realization of certain
sums with interest. The respondent appeared in the aforementioned suit but later filed an application
under Section 34 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 for the stay of the suit. The Sub Judge
allowed the application filed by the Respondent. However with regard to the quantum of claim, the Sub
Judge referred the matter for Arbitration. Against this order an appeal was filed in the High Court of
Bombay under section 39 of the Act which was dismissed. The State was aggrieved by this appealed in
the Supreme Court which was dismissed on 10.01.2013; and both the counsels agreed to the order given
which stated that an Arbitrator will now be settling the dispute and will file the award in the Court. The
Arbitrator concluded his proceedings and gave the award on 16.10.2015; the same was filed in the
Supreme Court as directed. The appellants challenged the said award and filed their objections in the
Civil Court. The Respondent filed an affidavit on 16.06.2016 requesting this Court to pronounce the
judgment in terms of the award.
Issue: Whether this Court can entertain an application for making the award as Rule of the Court, even if
it retains seisin over arbitral proceedings?
Judgment: The principle laid down by the Constitution Bench graphically exposits that right to appeal is
a vested right and such a right exists on and from the date the lis commences and the said right can be
taken away only by a subsequent enactment, if it so provides expressly or by necessary intendment and
not otherwise. It is not found necessary to direct the matter to be listed in front of an appropriate bench
as the Appellant State has filed the same in front of the Civil Court. Liberty has been awarded to both
the State and the Respondent to file any objection within 30 days of pronouncing this judgment. The
appeal stands dismissed and there is no order as to costs.
FIND COPY OF THE JUDGMENT HERE