SC: Courts can interfere with arbitrator award
BS Reporter / New Delhi November 19, 2007
The Supreme Court last week observed that courts could interfere with the award of an arbitrator if it was perverse and the very basis of the finding was wrong.
The court said so while allowing the appeal of ONGC Ltd against the award given by a retired Bombay High Court judge in its dispute with Garware Shipping Corporation over the charter rate and maintenance expenses of offshore vessels.
"This is a case where interference is warranted and we set aside the norms prescribed by the arbitrator, which was upheld by the High Court," the judgment said.
L&T appeal dismissed
The Supreme Court last week dismissed the appeal of Larsen & Toubro Ltd against the ruling of the Kerala High Court in its dispute with Fertiliser & Chemicals Travancore over non-payment of dues.
When L&T invoked the arbitration clause, FACT argued that its CMD should be the sole arbitrator, according to the agreement. The high court accepted this view.
The Supreme Court, upholding it, said: "Reasonable apprehension of bias in the mind of a reasonable man can be a ground for removal of the arbitrator. A predisposition to decide for or against one party, without proper regard to the true merits of the dispute is bias. There must be reasonable apprehension of that predisposition. The reasonable apprehension must be based on cogent materials."
SC asks Adani to appear before Tribunal
The Supreme Court has asked Adani Exports to appear before the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal in connection with a case related to violation of foreign exchange regulations.
The authorities had imposed a penalty of Rs 13.5 crore on the export house on charges of mis-declaration and over-valuation of imported goods in January 2006. Setting aside the judgement of the Gujarat High Court, the Supreme Court directed the tribunal to hear the appeal filed by the export house on a day-to-day basis.
SC on computing export incentive
The Supreme Court has set aside the ruling of several high courts and ruled that charges for processing goods, not exported, also should be taken into account for computing export incentive under Section 80HHC(3) of the Income Tax Act.
In one typical case, a cashew factory processed nuts and exported them. It also processed cashew on job work basis. The firm did not include the processing charges in its total turnover. The tax department objected to it, as it interpreted the rule as it stood at that time. The high court, however, accepted the firm's view, but it has been set aside by the Supreme Court.
Scot for scots only
The Khoday's group, which owns the premium whisky brand Peter Scot, has approached the Supreme Court seeking to stay the Madras high court judgment that had virtually restrained domestic whisky makers from using words 'Scot' or 'Scotch' on their products.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court had restrained Jaipur-based Golden Bottling Ltd from using the label 'Red Scot' or any other name containing the word 'Scot.'
SC on equal pay for equal work
"The principle of equal pay for equal work has undergone a sea change," the Supreme Court has stated, directing the government to pay wages to its daily wage drivers equal to that of the regular employees.
The court held that there should be complete and total identity between two persons similarly situated, so as to grant equal pay for equal work.