Allegations of misconduct and collusion against an arbitrator — a retired judge — came to the fore before the Delhi High Court which set aside his interim award on a dispute between a real estate firm and its estranged NRI director.
Justice Navin Chawla also replaced the arbitrator, a retired judge of the Delhi High Court, with a judge who superannuated from the Supreme Court to decide the dispute involving Rs 37 crore between a real estate firm Concept Horizon Infra Pvt Ltd and NRI director Suninder Sandha.
The dispute between the two parties arose out of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), entered between Sandha and other directors Jeevesh Sabharwal and Naresh Sabharwal, according to which the realtor had to pay Rs 37 crore to the NRI on his exit from the company.
The first arbitrator was also appointed by the High Court but after the award was passed, allegations of misconduct and collusion allegedly surfaced against him.
Though, the allegations against the first arbitrator were withdrawn, Justice Chawla decided to set aside the award passed by him after both the parties consented to it.
Now, Justice Vikramajit Sen, a retired Supreme Court judge, has been appointed as the new sole arbitrator to adjudicate disputes that have arisen between them.
The High Court said the new arbitrator shall conduct the first hearing within two weeks of receipt of the order and would endeavour to decide the matter within two months.
Sandha contended in his plea that the firm had defaulted in payment of the amount as per the MoU after which he initiated the arbitration proceedings.
According to his plea, the MoU was entered into after Sandha discovered financial irregularities being allegedly committed by Jeevesh Sabharwal.