The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the appeal filed by Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel (AMNS) seeking transfer of proceedings over a dispute for cargo handling at Hazira Port with Essar Bulk Terminal (EBTL) to an arbitration tribunal and also restraining a commercial court from deciding the case.
A bench comprising justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheswari upheld that the Gujarat High Court’s August 17 order that rejected AMNS’ plea to restrain a Surat court from pronouncing its judgment in view of arbitral tribunal being constituted. The commercial court in Surat had also rejected Arcelor Mittal Steel’s application on July 17 to shift the proceedings to the tribunal which was constituted by the HC on July 9.
However, the apex court said that the commercial court can consider Section 9 application filed by Essar.
Disputes had risen over a 2011 agreement for Cargo Handling at Hazira Port. While AMNS had invoked arbitration in November for appointment of a tribunal, EBTL contended that the disputes were not arbitrable and Rs 673.84 crore including interest was payable by the former. EBTL had insisted that the court should pronounce its verdict.
The commercial court heard both the parties and reserved its orders on June 7. While the case was pending in the Surat court, both parties agreed to set up an arbitral tribunal on July 9. Within a week, ArcelorMittal moved an application for transfer of dispute to the tribunal and the same was dismissed both by the commercial court and the HC.