Vipul Ganda is an Independent Litigation Counsel with over 14 years of experience and a proven track record in Litigation and Dispute Resolution.
BBEL-MIPL Joint Venture Versus National Highways Authority of India
Court / Forum : Delhi High Court Citation : EX. P. 102/2017 Coram : Justice Rekha Palli Subject : Section 36 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 Date of Decision : 2020-01-28
BBEL-MIPL Joint Venture (“Decree Holder”) and National Highways Authority of India (“Judgment Debtor”) had entered into contract on November 11, 2008. Certain disputes arose between the parties with respect to issue of price adjustment of bill of quantity items, terms of reimbursement of building and construction workers welfare cess, which were referred to arbitration.
The Arbitral Tribunal (“Tribunal”) allowed claim with respect to price adjustment of bill of quantity items and awarded an amount of Rs. 22,11,15,411/- (Rupees Twenty-Two Crores Eleven Lacs Fifteen Thousand Four Hundred Eleven Only) (“Principal Amount”). The Tribunal had specifically directed that post award interest would be payable only on the Principal Amount.
The present petition has been filed by the Decree Holder for execution of arbitral award dated February 27, 2015. During the pendency of this petition, the Judgment Debtor had paid the Principal Amount to the Decree Holder from date of award till July 31, 2018. But the actual payment was made on August 20, 2018.
Whether the Decree Holder is entitled to receive interest on the pre award interest amount when the Tribunal has specified that post award is payable only on principal amount?
The Hon`ble Delhi High Court held that merely because a statutory provision or the decision of Hon`ble Supreme Court permits grant of post award interest on the quantum of pre-award interest does not imply that this court should substitute the plain words employed by the Tribunal and grant interest on amount, which the Tribunal never intended to grant.
The Tribunal had given specific direction that post award interest is payable only on the principal amount. It means the Tribunal did not intend to grant post award interest on pre award interest. If the Tribunal intended to grant post award interest on both principal amount and pre-award interest amount, then the Tribunal would have expressed it in the award. Therefore, this court cannot grant post award interest on pre award interest amount.
Vipul Ganda is a Delhi based Advocate practicing largely at the Delhi High Court. His practice focus is Dispute Resolution and Litigation and his practice areas include Arbitration, Commercial, Civil, Constitutional, Corporate and Criminal Litigation.