Referred to Larger Bench XIII: Venue v. Seat, Arbitration

Counsel cited these cases:

Foreign Cases

  1. Naviera Amazonica Peruana S.A., (1988) (1) Lloyd’s Law Reports 116.
  2. Hiscox, (1992) 1 AC 562.
  3. McDonnell Douglas Corpn., (1993) 2 Lloyd’s Law Rep. 48.
  4. C vs. D, (2007) EWCA Civ 1282 (CA).
  5. C vs. D, (2008) 1 Lloyd’s Law Rep 239. 
  6. Braes of Doune Wind Farm (Scotland) Limited, (2008) EWHC 426 (TCC).
  7. Shashoua, (2009) EWHC 957 (Comm.).
  8. Sulamerica Cia Nacional De Seguros S.A., (2012) EWCA Civ 638.
  9. Enercon GMBH (2) Wobben Properties GMBH, (2012) EWHC 3711 (Comm).
  10. Petrocon India Ltd., (2016) SCC Online MYFC 35.

Indian Cases

  1. National Thermal Power Corporation, (1992) 3 SCC 551.
  2. Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd., (1998) 1 SCC 305. 
  3. Sundaram Finance Ltd., (1999) 2 SCC 479. 
  4. Bhatia International, (2002) 4 SCC 105. 
  5. Venture Global Engineering, (2008) 4 SCC 190. 
  6. Indtel Technical Services Pvt. Ltd., (2008) 10 SCC 308. 
  7. Bank of India & Anr., (2009) 5 SCC 313. 
  8. Citation Infowares Ltd., (2009) 7 SCC 220. 
  9. Ferro Concrete Construction (P) Ltd., (2009) 12 SCC 1. 
  10. Videocon Industries Limited, (2011) 6 SCC 161. 
  11. Dozco India Private Ltd., (2011) 6 SCC 179. 
  12. Yograj Infrastructure Limited, (2011) 9 SCC 735. 
  13. Bharat Aluminium Company, (2012) 9 SCC 552.
  14. Enercon (India) Ltd., (2014) 5 SCC 1.
  15. Reliance Industries Limited, (2014) 7 SCC 603.
  16. Harmony Innovation Shipping Ltd., (2015) 9 SCC 172. 
  17. Reliance Industries, (2015) 10 SCC 213. 
  18. Bharat Aluminum Company, (2016) 4 SCC 126. 
  19. Eitzen Bulk A/S & Ors., (2016) 11 SCC 508. 
  20. Imax Corporation, (2017) 5 SCC 331.
  21. Roger Shashoua, (2017) (14) SCC 722.

The arguments centered around one question: My Lord, When the Arbitration Agreement specifies the ‘venue’ for holding the Arbitration Sittings by the Arbitrators but does not specify the ‘seat’, then on what basis and by which principle, the parties have to decide the place of ‘seat’ which has a material bearing for determining the applicability of laws of a particular country for deciding the Post Award Arbitration Proceedings?

In our opinion, though, the question regarding the ‘seat’ and ‘venue’ for holding Arbitration Proceedings by the Arbitrators arising under the Arbitration Agreement/International Commercial Arbitration Agreement is primarily required to be decided keeping in view the terms of the Arbitration Agreement itself, but having regard to the law laid down by this Court in several decisions by the Benches of variable strength as detailed above, and further taking into consideration the submissions urged and also keeping in view the issues involved in the Appeal, which frequently arise in International Commercial Arbitration matters, we are of the considered view that this is a fit case to exercise our power under Order VI Rule 2 of the Supreme Court 12 Rules, 2013 and refer this Appeal to be dealt with by the Larger Bench of this Court for its hearing.”

– Hon’ble Justice Abhay Manohar SapreUnion of India v. Hardy Exploration and Production (India) Inc., [Civil Appeal No. 4628 of 2018].