Place Designated As The ‘Venue’ Of Arbitration In Its Entirety, Is The ‘Seat’ Of Arbitration: Bombay High Court
[04 July 2022] The Bombay High Court reiterated that whenever a place is designated as the “venue” of the arbitration proceedings in its entirety in an Arbitration Clause, the said place would necessarily be the “seat” of the arbitral proceedings.
The Single Bench of Justice G.S. Kulkarni held that such part of the Arbitration Agreement wherein the parties had agreed upon the venue of the arbitration proceedings, would be required to be read as distinct and independent from the arbitral mechanism agreed between the parties. The Court noted that the Supreme Court in the case of BGS SGS Soma JV versus NHPC Ltd. (2019) had ruled that whenever a place is designated as the “venue” of the arbitration proceedings in an Arbitration Clause, the expression “arbitration proceedings” would make it clear that the “venue” is really the “seat” of the arbitral proceedings. The Supreme Court had held that this was because the expression “arbitration proceedings” does not include just one or more individual or particular hearings, but that it includes the arbitration proceedings as a whole, including the making of an award at that place.
Hence, the Court ruled that once the parties had agreed that the venue of the arbitration in its entirety shall be at Delhi, the seat of arbitration was necessarily at Delhi. Thus, the Court held that the jurisdiction to entertain the proceedings for appointment of an Arbitral Tribunal would lie only with the Courts at Delhi.
Therefore, the Court dismissed the application on the ground that it did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the application.