The Calcutta High Court stated that unscrupulous and dishonest litigants not only hijack the Court system but also strangely get their cases prioritised over civil libertarians and pension seekers.

The Court held thus when an application filed under Section 11 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 was found without jurisdiction.

The bench of Justice Ravi Krishan Kapur observed, “In a system, where the civil libertarian, pension seeker, motor vehicle accident claimant, octogenarian and undertrial are languishing before Courts, it is unfortunate how unscrupulous and dishonest litigants and their advisors manage not only to highjack the system but strangely find their matters on the top of any Roster.”

Senior Advocate Abhrajit Mitra appeared for the Respondent.

Brief Facts-

The petitioner, BMG Gulf FZC a UAE company, leased an oil drilling rig to the respondent, Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd. a company based in Kolkata, India. By a lease agreement entered into between the predecessor in the interest of the petitioner i.e. National Oil Gas Services Limited (NOGSL) Mauritius and the respondent, the respondent had taken on lease one Oil and Gas Drilling Rig along with allied equipment. After terminating the lease, the petitioner claimed that the rig hadn't been returned or paid for by the respondent, leading to a legal dispute. The court issued injunctions against the respondent, and both parties are now seeking arbitration.

The Court stated that given the admitted fact that the petitioner is a company incorporated under the laws of UAE, the disputes between the parties fall within the definition of an international commercial arbitration under section 2(f) of the Act and it is only the Chief Justice of India or his delegate who has the power to appoint an Arbitrator under the Act.

Therefore, according to the Court, any such application before the High Court is misconceived and not maintainable.

The Court mentioned the decision in Madura Coats Ltd. vs. Dunlop India Ltd., 2012 SCC OnLine Cal 13214 and observed, “The more sagacious judicial pronouncements instruct that a judgment should not betray any agitation on the part of the Judge and should not be intemperate in its expression. But public interest demands at times that a cheat be described as such for him and others that he has cheated to be aware that there is appropriate recognition on the basis of the character of a person's conduct. Plain-speaking must sometimes be used if only to bolster the image of the institution and to instill confidence in it.”

The Court did not choose to dilate on whether the proceeding between the parties is collusive or not or whether the appointment of Joint Advocates over the Rig is only a preventive measure to thwart any impending action by a creditor.

According to the Court, this is also not the stage for a discourse on the role of Advocates in the administration of justice. As per the Court it is for members of the Bar to introspect and take necessary steps and spare the Courts of the unpleasant duty.

The Court stated that both the proceedings before the Rajarhat Commercial Court and this Court are misconceived and a nullity and there is an inherent lack of jurisdiction in either of the Courts to entertain the respective applications.

The Court further stated that the mistake is so obvious that the same cannot be described as accidental or bonafide but only as deliberate, intentional and orchestrated for some sinister purpose.

The Court on account of the unconditional apology expressed by the lawyers simply dismissed the petition.



Appellant: Adv. Rishav Banerjee, Adv. A. K. Awasthi, Adv. S. Gole and Adv. P. Shaha

Respondent: Sr. Adv. Abhrajit Mitra, Adv. Rishad Medora and Adv. A. Chakraborty

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