True Court CopyTM English


Civil Appeal No. 1539 of 2019 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 13551 of 2013)

Decided On: 07.02.2019

Appellants: Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. Vs. Respondent: Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Ltd.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer and M.R. Shah


A.K. Sikri, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. The Appellant herein was awarded the contract under which it was to execute certain Works. Agreement in this behalf was signed on 18th December, 1998. Some disputes arose between the parties. Since the agreement contained an arbitration clause, two claims raised by the Appellant were referred for arbitration. The arbitral tribunal was of three Arbitrators. This arbitration was under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the '1996 Act'). The majority award pronounced on October 10, 2010 allowed the two claims to certain extent. On the said claims awarded, the Arbitrators also granted interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date when the arbitration was invoked, i.e., October 09, 2007, till 60 days after the award. Future interest at the rate of 18% per annum till the date of payment was also awarded.

3. Dispute which has travelled upto this Court pertains only to the question as to whether the Arbitrators could award any interest in view of Clauses 50 and 51 of the General Conditions of Contract (GCC) which governed the terms between the parties. The objections were filed before the High Court. A Single Judge of the High Court of Delhi passed the order dated November 15, 2011 quashing the award limited to the interest that was awarded by the Arbitrators. The Appellant preferred intra-court appeal which has been dismissed by the Division Bench of the High Court, thereby upholding the judgment of the Single Judge. The effect is that the High Court has held that no interest is payable as Clauses 50 and 51 of GCC bar the arbitrators from granting interest.

4. It may be pointed out that on interpreting Clauses 50 and 51 of the General Conditions of Contract, the view taken by the High Court is that these clauses categorically provide that no interest would be payable to the contractor on the money due to him. The said Clauses read as under:

Clause 50.0 Interest on money due to the contractor

No omission on the part of the Engineer in charge to pay the amount due upon measurement or otherwise shall vitiate or make void the contract, nor shall the contractor be entitled to interest upon any guarantee or payments in arrears nor upon any balance which may on the final settlement of his account, be due to him.

Clause 51.0 No claim for delayed payment due to dispute etc.

No claim for interest or damage will be entertained or be payable by the corporation in respect of any amount or balance which may be lying with the corporation owing to nay dispute, different or misunderstanding between the parties or in respect of any delay or omission on the part of he Engineer in charge in making intermediate or final payments on in any other respect whatsoever.

The Award makes the following observations in this behalf:

As seen from above, Clause 50.0 and 51.0 of the Contract deny interest on the Claimant's dues by the Respondent due to dispute etc. However as per above quoted judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, the claim for interest can be considered by the Arbitration Tribunal.