SC: If arbitration clause specifies a court, only such court has jurisdiction

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 25thJuly 2019, in the matter of Brahmani River Pellets Limited v. Kamachi Industries Limited pronounced that where the arbitration clause specifies the jurisdiction of the court at a particular place, only such court will have the jurisdiction to deal with the matter. Non-use of words like “exclusive jurisdiction”, “only”, “exclusive”, “alone” is not decisive and does not make any material difference.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

As per Section 20 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, parties are free to agree on the place of arbitration. Party autonomy has to be construed in the context of parties choosing a court which has jurisdiction out of two or more competent courts having jurisdiction. (Para 13)

Where the contract specifies the jurisdiction of the court at a particular place, only such court will have the jurisdiction to deal with the matter. Non-use of words like “exclusive jurisdiction”, “only”, “exclusive”, “alone” is not decisive and does not make any material difference. (Para 16)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_25-July-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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