ALR 686 , 2019 (1 )ALT25 , 2019 (1 )ARBLR111 (SC ), [2019 ]150 CLA181 (SC ), 2019 (1 )CTC881 , 2019 (1 )J.L.J.R.211 , 2019 (1 )RCR(Civil)525 , 2019 (1 )SCALE134 , (2019 )3 SCC505 , 2019 (9 ) SCJ 131 , (2019 )2 WBLR(SC )26 , ,MANU/SC/0003/2019Abhay Manohar Sapre#Indu Malhotra#221SC3020Judgment/OrderAIC#ALR#ALT#ArbLR#CLA#CTC#JLJR#MANU#RCR (Civil)#SCALE#SCC#SCJ#WBLRIndu Malhotra,SUPREME COURT OF INDIA2019-1-8297,298 -->

MANU/SC/0003/2019

True Court CopyTM English

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Civil Appeal No. 27/2019 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 20201 of 2018)

Decided On: 03.01.2019

Appellants: The Government of Haryana PWD Haryana (B and R) Branch
Vs.
Respondent: G.F. Toll Road Pvt. Ltd. and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Abhay Manohar Sapre and Indu Malhotra

JUDGMENT

Indu Malhotra, J.

Leave granted.

1. The present Civil Appeal has been filed by the Appellant-State of Haryana to challenge the Order dated 01.03.2018 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in C.R. No. 3279/2017.

2. The factual matrix leading to the filing of the present Appeal, briefly stated is, as under:

2.1. On 12.12.2008 the Appellant-State issued a Letter of Acceptance to Respondent No. 1 - M/s. G.F. Toll Road Pvt. Ltd. for execution of a works contract for construction, operation and maintenance of Gurgaon-Faridabad Road and Ballabhgarh-Sohna Road on BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis.

2.2. A Concession Agreement was entered into between the parties on 31.01.2009. The period of construction was 24 months from 31.05.2009. The said agreement contained a dispute resolution Clause which is set out hereinbelow:

39.2 Arbitration

39.2.1. Any dispute, which is not resolved amicably as provided in Clause 39.1 shall be finally decided by reference to arbitration by a Board of Arbitrators, appointed pursuant to Clause 39.2.2. Sub-clause (b) below. Such arbitration shall be held in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration of the Indian Council of Arbitration and shall be subject to the provisions of the Arbitration Act.

39.2.2. There shall be a Board of three arbitrators of whom each party shall select one and the third arbitrator shall be appointed in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration of the Indian Council of Arbitration.

2.3. During the execution of the Agreement, disputes arose between the parties. The Respondent No. 1 - M/s. G.F. Toll Road Pvt. Ltd. vide Letter dated 30.03.2015 to Respondent No. 2 - Indian Council of Arbitration ("ICA") invoked the Arbitration Clause, and requested the ICA to commence arbitration proceedings. On 05.05.2015, Respondent No. 1 - M/s. G.F. Toll Road Pvt. Ltd. appointed a retired Engineer-in-Chief-Mr. Surjeet Singh as their nominee Arbitrator.

The Appellant-State herein also nominated a retired Engineer-in-Chief, Mr. M.K. Aggarwal as their nominee arbitrator vide Letter dated 08.06.2015.

2.4. The Respondent No. 2 - ICA vide Letter dated 03.08.2015 raised an objection to the arbitrator nominated by the Appellant-State on the ground that he was a retired employee of the State, and there may be justifiable doubts with respect to his integrity and impartiality to act as an arbitrator. The Respondent No. 2 - ICA advised the State to reconsider its nomination.

The Appellant-State ref........