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ELP – Arbitration weekly update – M/s Dharmaratnakara Rai Bahadur Arcot Narainswamy Mudaliar Chattram & Other Charities & Ors. v. M/s Bhaskar Raju & Brothers & Ors

Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution | Apr 1 2020

For this week’s update, we take a look at the Supreme Court’s recent judgment in M/s Dharmaratnakara Rai Bahadur Arcot Narainswamy Mudaliar Chattram & Other Charities & Ors. v. M/s Bhaskar Raju & Brothers & Ors.
This case involved two parties who disputed whether a document executed between them was a lease deed or an “agreement to lease”, and whether arbitration could be invoked under the said document.

This case involved two parties who disputed whether a document executed between them was a lease deed or an “agreement to lease”, and whether arbitration could be invoked under the said document.

Though the Registrar (Judicial) of the Karnataka High Court had determined that the concerned document was a lease deed, and that deficit stamp duty and penalty was payable by the Respondent, the duty had not been paid.

Taking into account this non-payment of stamp duty, and relying on its landmark judgment in SMS Tea Estates Private Limited v. Chandmari Tea Company Private Limited, (2011) 14 SCC 66, the Supreme Court reiterated that when an arbitration agreement was contained in a document which was not duly stamped, the court could not act upon such a document nor the arbitration agreement therein. Trust you will find this an interesting read.

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