the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,= Single Judge dismissing the application filed under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the ‘Act’) by holding that the agreements between the parties are not inter-connected with the principal agreement dated 05.03.2012 and therefore, the parties cannot be referred to arbitration as per the decision in Sukanya Holdings (P) Ltd. v. Jayesh H. Pandya and another (2003) 5 SCC 531.= both parties have consciously proceeded with the commercial transactions to commission the Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. The first respondent has proceeded to procure the materials, entered into agreement with Juwi India for engineering, installation and commissioning and the sale and purchase agreement with Astonfield, were all the conscious steps taken in the commercial understanding to commission the Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. Even though Juwi India and Astonfield are not parties to the main agreement – Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012), all the agreements/contracts contain clauses referring to the main agreement. It is the duty of the Court to impart the commercial understanding with a “sense of business efficacy” and not by the mere averments made in the plaint. The High Court was not right in refusing to refer the parties on the ground of the allegations of fraud levelled in the plaint. 34. It is only where serious questions of fraud are involved, the arbitration can be refused. In this case, as contended by the appellants 29 there were no serious allegations of fraud; the allegations levelled against Astonfield is that appellant no.1 – Ameet Lalchand Shah misrepresented by inducing the respondents to pay higher price for the purchase of the equipments. There is, of course, a criminal case registered against the appellants in FIR No.30 of 2015 dated 05.03.2015 before the Economic Offences Wing, Delhi. The appellant no.1 – Ameet Lalchand Shah has filed Criminal Writ Petition No.619 of 2016 before the High Court of Delhi for quashing the said FIR. The said writ petition is stated to be pending and therefore, we do not propose to express any views in this regard, lest, it would prejudice the parties. Suffice to say that the allegations cannot be said to be so serious to refuse to refer the parties to arbitration. In any event, the Arbitrator appointed can very well examine the allegations regarding fraud. 35. Main agreement – Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) for leasing and commissioning of Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh contains arbitration clause (Clause 29). As discussed earlier, other three agreements – two agreements between Rishabh and Juwi India (01.02.2012) and Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield are integrally connected with the commercial understanding of commissioning the Solar Project at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and to resolve the dispute 30 between the parties, they are to be referred to arbitration. The order of the High Court declining to refer the parties to arbitration cannot be sustained and is liable to be set aside.

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4690 OF 2018

(Arising out of SLP(C) No.16789 of 2017)

AMEET LALCHAND SHAH AND OTHERS …Appellants

Versus

RISHABH ENTERPRISES AND ANOTHER …Respondents

J U D G M E N T

R. BANUMATHI, J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal arises out of the judgment dated 17.04.2017 passed by

the Delhi High Court in FAO(OS) (COMM) No.85 of 2017 in and by which

the Division Bench affirmed the order of the Single Judge dismissing the

application filed under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,

1996 (the ‘Act’) by holding that the agreements between the parties are

not inter-connected with the principal agreement dated 05.03.2012 and

therefore, the parties cannot be referred to arbitration as per the decision

in Sukanya Holdings (P) Ltd. v. Jayesh H. Pandya and another (2003)

5 SCC 531.

3. Brief facts which led to filing of this appeal are as follows:-

1

On 01.02.2012, the first respondent – Rishabh Enterprises (the

‘Rishabh’), the sole proprietorship concern of the second respondent –

Dr. A.M. Singhvi entered into two agreements with M/s Juwi India

Renewable Energies Pvt. Ltd. (Juwi India) namely:- (i) Equipment and

Material Supply Contract for purchase of power generating equipments to

the tune of Rs.8,89,80,730/-; and (ii) Engineering, Installation and

Commissioning Contract for installation and commissioning of the Solar

Plant for Rs.2,20,19,270/-. Both these agreements contain arbitration

clause.

4. The first respondent – Rishabh entered into Sale and Purchase

Agreement dated 05.03.2012 with the second appellant company –

Astonfield Renewables Private Limited (Astonfield) for purchasing CIS

Photovoltaic products to be leased to appellant No.3 – Dante Energy Pvt.

Ltd. (Dante Energy) to be installed at the Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa,

District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. As per the agreement, these products

were valued for Rs.25,16,00,000/-. The second appellant – Astonfield

received Rs.21,40,49,999/- from the respondents under various cheques

issued by the Rishabh. This agreement dated 05.03.2012 does not

contain the arbitration clause. According to the appellants, an amount of

Rs.10,00,00,000/- by cash was paid back to the sons of Dr. A.M. Singhvi

i.e. Rs.2,50,00,000/- to Mr. Avishkar Singhvi and Rs.7,50,00,000/- to

2

Mr. Anubhav Singhvi. An Equipment Lease Agreement (ELA) dated

14.03.2012 was entered into between the Rishabh and Dante Energy

whereby Dante Energy agreed to pay the Rishabh Rs.13,50,000/- as

lease rent for March, 2012 and from April, 2012 onwards, the said rent

payable was Rs.28,26,000/-. The Solar Plant at Jhansi has been

commissioned and energized on 16.03.2012.

5. Gist of the agreements are as under:-

S.No. DATE OF

CONTRACT

CONTRACTING

PARTY

PURPOSE OF CONTRACT ARBITRATION

AGREEMENT

1. 01.02.2012 Rishabh

Enterprises

entered into two

agreements with

M/s. Juwi India

Renewable

Energies Pvt.

Ltd.

(i) Rishabh to purchase

power generating

equipments –

Rs.8,89,80,730/-

(ii) Engineering, Installation

and commission of the

plant at Jhansi –

Rs.2,20,19,270/-

Both agreements

contain arbitration

clause – Parties

agreed that the seat

of arbitration shall be

at Bombay

2. 05.03.2012 Rishabh entered

into agreement

with M/s. Aston

Renewables

Pvt. Ltd.

(appellant no.2)

(i) Purchasing CIS

Photovoltaic products to

be leased to Dante Energy

(Appellant no.3) for

energizing solar plant

installed at Jhansi –

Rs.21,40,49,999/-

This agreement

does not contain

arbitration clause.

3. 14.03.2012 Rishabh entered

into agreement

with M/s. Dante

Energy Pvt. Ltd.

(appellant no.3)

Dante agreed to pay

Rs.13,50,000/- as lease rent

for the equipment for March,

2012 and from April, 2012

onwards, Rs.28,26,000/- per

month.

This agreement

contains arbitration

clause. Parties have

agreed that the seat

of arbitration shall be

at Bombay.

6. Dispute arose between the parties when respondents alleged that

appellant No. 3 – Dante Energy has defaulted in payment of rent and that

Astonfield committed fraud by inducing the Rishabh to purchase the

Photovoltaic products by investing huge amount. The respondents have

3

also alleged that the appellants have committed misrepresentation and

criminal breach of trust so far as the equipments procured and leased to

Dante Energy. The respondents have also filed a criminal complaint

before the Economic Offences Wing at Delhi against the appellants,

based on which, FIR No. 30 of 2015 was registered. The appellants

have filed writ petition bearing CWP No.619 of 2016 before the High

Court of Delhi seeking quashing of the said FIR which is sub judice.

There was also an enquiry by the Income Tax Authorities seeking

explanation from the appellants regarding transfer of money to the sons

of Dr. A.M. Singhvi i.e. Rs.2,50,00,000/- to Mr. Avishkar Singhvi and

Rs.7,50,00,000/- to Mr. Anubhav Singhvi. Appellant No.1 – Ameet

Lalchand Shah was summoned by the Income Tax Authorities seeking

explanation with regard to transfer of the said money to the sons of Dr.

A.M. Singhvi.

7. Owing to the dispute between the parties, appellant No.3 – Dante

Energy issued notice dated 13.02.2016 invoking arbitration clause and

nominated Justice Sujata Manohar, former Judge, Supreme Court of

India as the Arbitrator. The respondents namely the Rishabh and its sole

proprietor preferred a Civil Suit (Commercial) No.195 of 2016 before the

High Court on 11.03.2016 against all the appellants levelling various

allegations including fraud and misrepresentation. In the suit, multiple

4

reliefs were claimed:- (i) for a declaration that Sale and Purchase

Agreement dated 05.03.2012; Equipment and Material Supply Contract,

Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract both dated

01.02.2012 and Equipment Lease Agreement dated 14.03.2012 are

vitiated by serious fraud committed by the appellants and that the

agreements are void; (ii) for recovery of a sum of Rs.32,22,80,288/-

which the appellants are jointly and severely liable to pay to the

respondents; (iii) to pay a sum of Rs.19,31,74,804/- as the interest on the

aforesaid amount of Rs.32,22,80,288/- at the rate of 18% per annum

from the date of the agreement i.e. 01.02.2012 till the date of the

realization; and (iv) to pay arrears of lease rent.

8. On receipt of notice and summons in the suit, the

appellants/defendants preferred application I.A. No.4158 of 2016 under

Section 8 of the Act seeking for reference of the dispute between the

parties to arbitration pertaining to all the four agreements. The appellants

sought for reference to arbitration of all the four agreements by

contending that the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) is the

main agreement and that other three agreements are inter-connected as

they are executed between the same parties and the obligations and the

performance of the terms of the agreements are inter-connected viz.

commissioning of the Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District

5

Jhansi, U.P. The respondents Rishabh and Dr. A.M. Singhvi resisted the

application by contending that the suit is for declaration that the

agreements are vitiated due to fraud and misrepresentation and while so,

the matter cannot be referred to arbitration. It was further averred that

the suit is neither concerned about the agreement dated 01.02.2012 with

Juwi India nor concerned about Equipment Lease Agreement

(14.03.2012); whereas the suit is concerned about the false assurances

and fraud played by the appellants Ameet Lalchand Shah and Dante

Energy regarding which a criminal case has also been registered and

hence, the dispute is not referable to arbitration.

9. The learned Single Judge by order dated 15.03.2017 dismissed the

application filed under Section 8 of the Act holding that the Equipment

Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) between Rishabh and Dante Energy

cannot be treated as the mother/principal agreement and the agreements

between the respondents and Astonfield and Juwi India cannot be said to

be ancillary agreements to the same. The learned Single Judge further

held that not only the respondents accuse the appellants of fraud but

appellants also accuse the respondents of fraud, concealment and

suppression of material facts and that there was also a registration of a

criminal case based on the complaint filed by the respondents and also

the enquiry by the Income Tax Authorities regarding transfer of

6

Rs.10,00,00,000/- to the sons of Dr. A.M. Singhvi and when there are

such serious issues between the parties, they cannot be referred to

arbitration.

10. Being aggrieved by the dismissal of the application, the appellants

preferred appeal before the Division Bench which came to be dismissed.

The Division Bench pointed out the difference in the language between

Section 8 and Section 45 of the Act and after referring to Chloro

Controls India Private Limited v. Severn Trent Water Purification Inc.

and others (2013) 1 SCC 641, observed that Sukanya Holdings was

not overruled. The Division Bench further pointed out that in spite of

amendment brought in under Section 8, since the main/principal

agreement–Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) does not contain

an arbitration clause, the matter cannot be referred to arbitration. After

referring to A. Ayyasamy v. A. Paramasivam and others (2016) 10

SCC 386, the Division Bench held that in view of serious allegations of

fraud, arbitration of such dispute is excluded.

11. We have heard Mr. Shanti Bhushan, learned senior counsel

appearing for the appellants and Mr. Kapil Sibal, learned senior counsel

appearing for the respondents. Upon consideration of the rival

submissions, the following points arise for consideration in this appeal:-

7

1. Whether all the four agreements viz. – (i) Equipment and

Material Supply Contract (01.02.2012) between Rishabh and

Juwi India; (ii) Engineering, Installation and Commissioning

Contract (01.02.2012) between Rishabh and Juwi India;

(iii) Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) between

Rishabh and Astonfield; and (iv) Equipment Lease Agreement

(14.03.2012) between Rishabh and Dante Energy are interconnected

to refer the parties to arbitration though there is no

arbitration clause in the Sale and Purchase Agreement

(05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield?

2. Whether reference of the dispute between the parties to

arbitration is to be refused on the ground of allegations of fraud

levelled against the appellants by the respondents in the plaint

or whether the agreements ought to be taken as commercial

undertaking of the parties “with a sense of business efficacy”

as held in Ayyasamy case?

12. First, the Rishabh entered into two agreements with Juwi India

dated 01.02.2012:- (i) Equipment and Material Supply Contract; and (ii)

Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract. The first

agreement-Equipment and Material Supply Contract (01.02.2012)

contains arbitration clause (Clause 19.4). The second agreement –

8

Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract (01.02.2012) also

contains arbitration clause (Clause 25). Sale and Purchase Agreement

(05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield for Rs.25,16,00,000/- does

not contain the arbitration clause. The fourth agreement namely

Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) between Rishabh and Dante

Energy contains arbitration clause (Clause 29). A careful perusal of all

the four agreements that is:- (i) Equipment and Material Supply Contract;

(ii) Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract; (iii) Sale and

Purchase Agreement; and (iv) Equipment Lease Agreement shows that

all the four agreements were for the single purpose to commission 2

MWp Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar

Pradesh to be purchased by Rishabh and leasing the equipments to

Dante Energy.

13. The averments in the plaint also prima facie indicate that all the

four agreements are inter-connected and that appellant No.1 – Ameet

Lalchand Shah is stated to be the promoter and controlling man of both

Astonfield as well as Dante Energy. We may usefully refer to the relevant

averments in the plaint which read as under:-

“Defendant No.1, Mr. Ameet Lalchand Shah, is the Promoter of

the Defendant Nos. 2 and 3 Companies. Through his other

group companies, Defendant No.1 is also the controlling

shareholder of Defendant Nos. 2 and 3. He is involved in

running the day to day affairs of the said companies and it is

9

on his instructions and directions and under his overall

control and dictation that the said companies are run. He is

the co-founder and the co-chairman of the “Astonfield Group”

consisting of various companies incorporated both outside of

and in India (www.astonfield.com). Defendant No.1 is the main

brain behind the serious fraud that has been perpetuated upon the

Plaintiffs and the prima donna, mind, body, soul and controlling

entity of all other defendants to this suit. If the corporate veil is

lifted by this Hon’ble Court (and, this is an appropriate case for

lifting of the corporate veil), it will be found that it is, in fact,

Defendant No.1 only who is the real entity behind all the other

defendants and it is on his directions that the others have made,

played their respective roles in and/or participated in the

transactions in question……. Further, Defendant No.1 has also

been corresponding with the plaintiffs on behalf of Defendant Nos.

2 and 3. ……… The said Defendant No.1 is also responsible for

running the day to day affairs of this Company which is run on

his directions and under his control. Defendant No.2 entered

into a Sale and Purchase Agreement with the Plaintiffs, the

transaction under which is vitiated by serious fraud. ……”

Though there are two agreements, individual parties to the Sale and

Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) and the Equipment Lease Agreement

(Dante Energy) are one and the same,. Though Juwi India is not the

defendant, as discussed infra, Equipment and Material Supply Contract

and Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract with Juwi India

itself were for the purpose of commissioning Photovoltaic Solar Plant at

Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.

14. The clauses in the Equipment and Material Supply Contract

(01.02.2012) between Rishabh and Juwi India clearly indicate that the

Rishabh has entered into Lease Agreement with Dante Energy and that

the Rishabh proposes to source Photovoltaic products/panels etc. and

similar Solar Power generating equipments for onward lease of those

10

goods to Dante Energy. The following clauses in the said Equipment and

Material Supply Contract would clearly establish the link of Equipment

and Material Supply Contract with the main Lease Agreement with Dante

Energy:-

“This Equipment and Material Supply contract is between

M/s Rishabh Enterprises………….. (the ‘Client’)

AND

Juwi India Renewable Energies Private Limited ……..(the

‘Supplier’)

Whereas:-

A. The Client (Rishabh) is entering into Lease Agreement

with M/s Dante Energy Pvt. Ltd. (‘Lessee’) and the

Lessee (Dante Energy) has necessary authorizations to

develop, own, operate and commercially exploit a 2

MWp thin-film photovoltaic solar plant at Dongri, Raksa,

District-Jhansi, UP (Plant Site), transmission line from

power plant to the Grid Substation, bay extension work at

the Grid Substation, including all of the infrastructure and

relevant installations required to connect the electricityproducing

equipment to the distribution/transmission grid at

the Grid Substation in UP, India (the ‘Facility’).

B. The Client (Rishabh) proposes to source Photovoltaic

Products/Panels, Inverters, Transformers and similar

solar power generating equipments, etc. for sale of

goods to the Client (Rishabh) and the Client (Rishabh)

will onward lease these goods to M/s Dante Energy Pvt.

Ltd. (Lessee).

C. The Client (Rishabh) wishes to engage the Supplier (Juwi

India) for supply of Equipment (as defined below) and

materials with respect to the development of the Solar Park.

D. The M/s Dante Energy Private Limited (Lessee) will have the

right to inspect the respective goods to be sourced by the

Client (Rishabh) and based on the confirmation from the M/s

Dante Energy Private Limited (Lessee), the respective goods

will be purchased by the Client (Rishabh) for onward sale to

M/s Dante Energy Private Limited (Lessee) and will be

consigned to the project site.

11

E. The Supplier (Juwi India) is aggregable to supply the

Equipment and Materials to the Client (Rishabh) in

accordance with the terms of this Contract.”

15. Likewise, clauses in the agreement for Engineering, Installation

and Commissioning Contract between Rishabh and Juwi India

(01.02.2012) also clearly indicate that the agreement was entered into for

the purpose of commissioning Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa,

District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. Clause (A) of the agreement that the

Rishabh has entered into Equipment Lease Agreement with M/s Dante

Energy (Lessee) reiterates that the second agreement with Juwi India for

engineering, installation and commissioning is integrally connected with

Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012). The relevant clauses in the

agreement read as under:-

“This Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract

Agreement is between

M/s Rishabh Enterprises……….. (the ‘Client’)

AND

Juwi India Renewable Energies Pvt. Ltd………(the ‘Contractor’)

Whereas:-

A. The Client (Rishabh) is the owner of certain Photovoltaic

products/Panels, Inverters, Transformers and similar

solar power generating equipments etc. and is entering

into an Equipment Lease Agreement with M/s Dante

Energy Pvt. Ltd. (Lessee).

B. The Lessee (Dante Energy) has necessary authorizations

to develop, own, operate and commercially exploit a 2

MWp thin-film photovoltaic solar plant at Dongri, Raksa,

District-Jhansi, UP (Plant Site), transmission line from

12

power plant to the Grid Substation, bay extension work at

the Grid Substation, including all of the infrastructure and

relevant installations required to connect the electricityproducing

equipment to the distribution/transmission grid at

the Grid Substation in UP, India (the ‘Facility’).

C. The Client (Rishabh) proposes to purchase the Client’s

Equipment as required by the Lessee (Dante Energy) for

onward lease to the Lessee (Dante Energy).

D. The Lessee (Dante Energy) requires the services for design,

engineering, construction, erection, testing, commissioning

and handing over of the Facility to the Client (Rishabh) and

accordingly the Client (Rishabh) has agreed to identity the

competent Contractor (Juwi India) for undertaking the

above work.

E. The Contractor (Juwi India) has represented to the Client

(Rishabh) and the Lessee (Dante Energy) that the

Contractor (Juwi India) has the requisite experience,

expertise, resources and skills for undertaking and

performing all the activities and services required for design

engineering, construction, erection, testing, commissioning

and handing over of the Facility and has submitted an offer

to the Client (Rishabh) in response to the Technical

Specifications as set out by the Client (Rishabh).

F. Based on the offer submitted by the Contractor (Juwi India)

and relying on the Contractor’s representations and

warranties herein, and on the concurrence and approval of

the Lessee (Dante Energy), the Client (Rishabh) wishes to

appoint the Contractor (Juwi India) to undertake the

Services and (except for purchase of the Client’s

Equipments) to perform all the activities and services

required for design, engineering, construction, erecting,

testing, commissioning and handing over of the Facility

and the Contractor (Juwi India) has agreed to such

appointment and to undertake such other duties and

obligations as mentioned in this Contract.”

The above clauses in the very commencement of the agreement with

Juwi India dated 01.02.2012 clearly state that the agreement itself was

for the purpose of commissioning Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri,

Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh for which Dante Energy (Lessee)

has necessary authorizations. The above quoted clauses in the

13

Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract (01.02.2012)

establish that this agreement is inter-connected with Equipment Lease

Agreement (14.03.2012) with Dante Energy.

16. Equally, the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) between

M/s Astonfield and Rishabh is also for the purpose of onward leasing of

goods to Dante Energy as seen from the following clauses:-

“Sale and Purchase Agreement

Astonfiled Renewable Pvt. Ltd. ……….. (Seller) AND Rishabh

Enterprises…….. (Buyer) agree to sell and to purchase the

following products, which are required for onwards leasing of goods

by the Buyer (Rishabh) to Dante Energy Private Limited.……………

(Lessee) under the terms and conditions stated below

(Transaction), effective as of the date of last signature below

(Effective Date):-

1. Buyer:Rishabh Enterprises

2. Seller: Astonfield Renewables Private Limited

3. Transaction: The parties agree that this Transaction shall be

governed by this Sale and Purchase Agreement and its

apendices.

The products under this Agreement shall be used for the 2

MWp grid connected solar PV power project being set up by the

Lessee (Dante Energy) at Dongri, Raksa, District-Jhansi, Uttar

Pradesh (Plant Site)

The Buyer (Rishabh) is purchasing the above goods for

onward supply/lease to lessee (Dante Energy). Lessee (Dante

Energy) will have the right to inspect the respective goods and

based on the confirmation from the Lessee (Dante Energy), the

respective goods will be purchased by the Buyer (Rishabh) for

onward sale to Lessee (Dante Energy) and will be consigned to

the Project Site.”

Though the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) does not have

any arbitration clause, by the above clauses, it is clearly linked with the

14

main agreement – Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012). Sale and

Purchase Agreement was entered into between Astonfield and Rishabh

only for the purpose of onward transmission of leasing of the goods by

Rishabh to Dante Energy. There is no merit in the contention that the

Sale and Purchase Agreement is not connected with the Equipment

Lease Agreement with Dante Energy.

17. Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) between Rishabh and

Dante Energy is only a follow-up of all the above three agreements as is

clear from the various clauses in the Equipment Lease Agreement. The

relevant clauses of Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) are as

under:-

“Equipment Lease Agreement

M/s Rishabh Enterprises………. (Lessor) AND M/s Dante

Energy Pvt. Ltd……….. (Lessee) is setting up a 2 MWp grid

connected solar PV power project at Dongri, Raksa, DistrictJhansi,

Uttar Pradesh (Plant Site)……

Whereas the Lessor (Rishabh) is the owner of certain

Photovoltaic products/Panels, Inverters, Transformers and

similar solar power generating equipments etc. (herein

referred to as “Equipments”), more particularly described in

the First Schedule hereunder written.

And whereas the Lessee (Dante Energy) has necessary

authorizations to develop, own, operate and commercially exploit a

2 MWp thin-film photovoltaic solar plant on the Site (“SPY Power

Plant”), transmission line from power plant to the Grid Substation,

bay extension work at the Grid Substation, including all of the

15

infrastructure and relevant installations required to connect the

electricity-producing equipment to the distribution/transmission grid

at the Grid Substation in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India as specified in

the Second Schedule (“Facility”) and for this purpose, they are in

requirement of the Equipments as mentioned in the First Schedule

hereunder written.

And whereas the Lessee (Dante Energy) being desirous of

obtaining from the Lessor (Rishabh) on lease the specified nature

of Equipments more particularly described in the First Schedule

hereunder written, has approached the Lessor (Rishabh) and has

requested the Lessor (Rishabh) to lease out the Equipments to the

Lessee (Dante Energy) on the terms, covenants and conditions

herein contained/specified.

…………

Article 4

Delivery, Commencement and disbursement:

(i) It is expressly understood by the Lessee (Dante Energy) and

Lessor (Rishabh) that in the present case, the respective

Equipments are being sourced from the supplier of Solar

Photovoltaic Modular-located in the State of Maharashtra i.e.

Astonfield Renewables Private Limited and supplier of other

solar power generating equipments like inverters,

transformers, etc. in the State of Karnataka i.e. Juwi India

Renewable Energies Private Limited. These goods have

been inspected by the Lessee (Dante Energy) and are found

suitable for its commercial use of the same.

(ii) Pursuant to this lease agreement, the respective

Equipments, will be purchased by the Lessor (Rishabh) from

the respective Supplier and accordingly, the Equipments will

be consigned directly to the project site in the State of Uttar

Pradesh. Accordingly, in the present case, the delivery of

respective Equipments will be effected by Endorsement of

the consignment Note in the favour of Lessee (Dante

Energy) by the Lessor (Rishabh).

………

(v) Irrespective of how and by whom the delivery is

effected, it is hereby agreed that the entire risk, cost or

any outgoing pertaining to the said delivery and

installation shall be at the cost and risk of the Lessor

(Rishabh).”

The above extracted clauses clearly demonstrate that all the four

agreements are inter-connected. Clause (v) in Article 4 in the Equipment

16

Lease Agreement that delivery and installation shall be at the cost and

risk of Rishabh (Lessor) is clearly linked with the Engineering, Installation

and Commissioning Contract between Rishabh and Juwi India.

18. The High Court placed reliance upon Sukanya Holdings for

dismissal of the application filed under Section 8 of the Act. In Sukanya

Holdings, the suit was filed for dissolution of the partnership firm and

accounts and inter alia challenged the conveyance deed executed by the

partnership firm in favour of M/s West End Gymkhana Limited. An

application filed under Section 8 of the Act was opposed by respondent

No.1 thereon by contending that the subject matter of the suit was not

between the contracting parties and that the reliefs claimed are not only

against respondents No. 1 and 2 who are the contracting parties but are

claimed against the remaining twenty-three parties who are the

purchasers/tenants of disputed flats. This Court held that if all the parties

to the suit are not parties to the agreement then the matter cannot be

referred to arbitration since there is no provision in the Act for partly

referring the dispute to arbitration. This Court noted that the buyers were

not parties to the arbitration agreement and that the non-signatories

cannot be referred to arbitration. In Sukanya Holdings in paras (15) and

(16), this Court held as under:-

17

“15. The relevant language used in Section 8 is: “in a matter which

is the subject of an arbitration agreement”. The court is required to

refer the parties to arbitration. Therefore, the suit should be in

respect of “a matter” which the parties have agreed to refer and

which comes within the ambit of arbitration agreement. Where,

however, a suit is commenced — “as to a matter” which lies outside

the arbitration agreement and is also between some of the parties

who are not parties to the arbitration agreement, there is no

question of application of Section 8. The words “a matter” indicate

that the entire subject-matter of the suit should be subject to

arbitration agreement.

16. The next question which requires consideration is — even if

there is no provision for partly referring the dispute to arbitration,

whether such a course is possible under Section 8 of the Act. In our

view, it would be difficult to give an interpretation to Section 8 under

which bifurcation of the cause of action, that is to say, the subjectmatter

of the suit or in some cases bifurcation of the suit between

parties who are parties to the arbitration agreement and others is

possible. This would be laying down a totally new procedure not

contemplated under the Act. If bifurcation of the subject-matter of a

suit was contemplated, the legislature would have used appropriate

language to permit such a course. Since there is no such indication

in the language, it follows that bifurcation of the subject-matter of an

action brought before a judicial authority is not allowed.”

19. Mr. Sibal, learned senior counsel for the respondents submitted

that the High Court rightly relied upon Sukanya Holdings as it relates to

Part-I of the Act that the parties who are not signatories to the arbitration

agreement (in this case, Astonfield under Sale and Purchase Agreement)

cannot be referred to arbitration. It was further submitted that Chloro

Controls arises under Part-II of the Act and was rightly distinguished by

the High Court and Sukanya Holdings was not overruled by Chloro

Controls and hence, the appellants cannot rely upon Chloro Controls.

It was contended that the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012)

under which huge money was parted with, is the main agreement having

18

no arbitration clause cannot be referred to arbitration. It was submitted

that the subject matter of the suit cannot be bifurcated between the

parties to arbitration agreement and others.

20. In Chloro Controls, this Court was dealing with the scope and

interpretation of Section 45 of the Act – Part-II of the Act and in that

context, discussed the scope of relevant principles on the basis of which

a non-signatory party also could be bound by the arbitration agreement.

Under Section 45 of the Act, an applicant seeking reference of disputes

to arbitration can either be a party to the arbitration agreement or any

person claiming through or under such party. Section 45 uses the

expression “….at the request of one of the parties or any person claiming

through or under him…..” includes non-signatory parties who can be

referred to arbitration provided they satisfy the requirements of

Sections 44 and 45 read with Schedule I of the Act. In para (73) of

Chloro Controls, this Court held as under:-

“73. A non-signatory or third party could be subjected to arbitration

without their prior consent, but this would only be in exceptional

cases. The court will examine these exceptions from the touchstone

of direct relationship to the party signatory to the arbitration

agreement, direct commonality of the subject-matter and the

agreement between the parties being a composite transaction. The

transaction should be of a composite nature where performance of

the mother agreement may not be feasible without aid, execution

and performance of the supplementary or ancillary agreements, for

achieving the common object and collectively having bearing on the

dispute. Besides all this, the court would have to examine whether

a composite reference of such parties would serve the ends of

19

justice. Once this exercise is completed and the court answers the

same in the affirmative, the reference of even non-signatory parties

would fall within the exception afore-discussed.” (Underlining

added)

21. In a case like the present one, though there are different

agreements involving several parties, as discussed above, it is a single

commercial project namely operating a 2 MWp Photovoltaic Solar Plant

at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. Commissioning of the

Solar Plant, which is the commercial understanding between the parties

and it has been effected through several agreements. The agreement –

Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) for commissioning of the

Solar Plant is the principal/main agreement. The two agreements of

Rishabh with Juwi India:- (i) Equipment and Material Supply Contract

(01.02.2012); and (ii) Engineering, Installation and Commissioning

Contract (01.02.2012) and the Rishabh’s Sale and Purchase Agreement

with Astonfield (05.03.2012) are ancillary agreements which led to the

main purpose of commissioning the Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri,

Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh by Dante Energy (Lessee). Even

though, the Sale and Purchase Agreement (05.03.2012) between

Rishabh and Astonfield does not contain arbitration clause, it is integrally

connected with the commissioning of the Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa,

District Jhansi, U.P. by Dante Energy. Juwi India, even though, not a

party to the suit and even though, Astonfield and appellant No.1 – Ameet

20

Lalchand Shah are not signatories to the main agreement viz. Equipment

Lease Agreement (14.03.2012), it is a commercial transaction integrally

connected with commissioning of Photovoltaic Solar Plant at Dongri,

Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. Be it noted, as per clause(v) of Article 4,

parties have agreed that the entire risk, cost of the delivery and

installation shall be at the cost of the Rishabh (Lessor). Here again, we

may recapitulate that engineering and installation is to be done by Juwi

India. What is evident from the facts and intention of the parties is to

facilitate procurement of equipments, sale and purchase of equipments,

installation and leasing out the equipments to Dante Energy. The dispute

between the parties to various agreements could be resolved only by

referring all the four agreements and the parties thereon to arbitration.

22. Parties to the agreements namely Rishabh and Juwi India:- (i)

Equipment and Material Supply Agreement; and (ii) Engineering,

Installation and Commissioning Contract and the parties to Sale and

Purchase Agreement between Rishabh and Astonfield are one and the

same as that of the parties in the main agreement namely Equipment

Lease Agreement (14.03.2012). All the four agreements are interconnected.

This is a case where several parties are involved in a single

commercial project (Solar Plant at Dongri) executed through several

agreements/contracts. In such a case, all the parties can be covered by

21

the arbitration clause in the main agreement i.e. Equipment Lease

Agreement (14.03.2012).

23. Since all the three agreements of Rishabh with Juwi India and

Astonfield had the purpose of commissioning the Photovoltaic Solar Plant

project at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, the High Court

was not right in saying that the Sale and Purchase Agreement

(05.03.2012) is the main agreement. The High Court, in our view, erred

in not keeping in view the various clauses in all the three agreements

which make them as an integral part of the principal agreement namely

Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) and the impugned order of the

High Court cannot be sustained.

Amendment to Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

24. Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 has brought in

amendment to Section 8 to make it in line with Section 45 of the Act. In

view of the observation made in Sukanya Holdings, Law Commission

has made recommendation for amendment to Section 8 of the Act.

Consequent to 2015 Amendment Act, Section 8 is amended as under:-

“8. Power to refer parties to arbitration where there is an

arbitration agreement. – (1) A judicial authority before which an

action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration

agreement shall, if a party to the arbitration agreement or any

person claiming through or under him, so applies not later than

when the date of submitting his first statement on the substance of

the dispute, then, notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of

22

the Supreme Court or any court refer the parties to arbitration

unless it finds that prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists.

(2) The application referred to in sub-section (1) shall not be

entertained unless it is accompanied by the original arbitration

agreement or a duly certified copy thereof

Provided that where the original arbitration agreement or a certified

copy thereof is not available with the party applying for reference to

arbitration under sub-section (1), and the said agreement or

certified copy is retained by the other party to that agreement, then,

the party so applying shall file such application along with a copy of

the arbitration agreement and a petition praying the Court to call

upon the other party to produce the original arbitration agreement

or its duly certified copy before that Court.

(3) Notwithstanding that an application has been made under

sub-section (1) and that the issue is pending before the judicial

authority, an arbitration may be commenced or continued and an

arbitral award made.

25. “Principally four amendments to Section 8(1) have been introduced

by the 2015 Amendments – (i) the relevant “party” that is entitled to apply

seeking reference to arbitration has been clarified/amplified to include

persons claiming “through or under” such a party to the arbitration

agreement; (ii) scope of examination by the judicial authority is restricted

to a finding whether “no valid arbitration agreement exists” and the nature

of examination by the judicial authority is clarified to be on a “prima facie”

basis; (iii) the cut-off date by which an application under Section 8 is to be

presented has been defined to mean “the date of” submitting the first

statement on the substance of the dispute; and (iv) the amendments are

expressed to apply notwithstanding any prior judicial precedent. The

proviso to Section 8(2) has been added to allow a party that does not

23

possess the original or certified copy of the arbitration agreement on

account of it being retained by the other party, to nevertheless apply

under Section 8 seeking reference, and call upon the other party to

produce the same.” (Ref: Justice R.S. Bachawat’s Law of Arbitration

and Conciliation, Sixth Edition, Vol. I (Sections 1 to 34) at page 695

published by LexisNexis).

26. Amendment to Section 8 by the Act, 2015 are to be seen in the

background of the recommendations set out in the 246th Law

Commission Report. In its 246th Report, Law Commission, while

recommending the amendment to Section 8, made the following

observation/comment:-

“LC Comment: The words “such of the parties…. to the arbitration

agreement” and proviso (i) of the amendment have been proposed

in the context of the decision of the Supreme Court in Sukanya

Holdings Pvt. Ltd. v. Jayesh H. Pandya and Anr. (2003) 5 SCC 531,

– in cases where all the parties to the dispute are not parties to the

arbitration agreement, the reference is to be rejected only where

such parties are necessary parties to the action – and not if they

are only proper parties, or are otherwise legal strangers to the

action and have been added only to circumvent the arbitration

agreement. Proviso (ii) of the amendment contemplates a two-step

process to be adopted by a judicial authority when considering an

application seeking the reference of a pending action to arbitration.

The amendment envisages that the judicial authority shall not refer

the parties to arbitration only if it finds that there does not exist an

arbitration agreement or that it is null and void. If the judicial

authority is of the opinion that prima facie the arbitration agreement

exists, then it shall refer the dispute to arbitration, and leave the

existence of the arbitration agreement to be finally determined by

the arbitral tribunal. However, if the judicial authority concludes that

the agreement does not exist, then the conclusion will be final and

not prima facie. The amendment also envisages that there shall be

24

a conclusive determination as to whether the arbitration agreement

is null and void.

(2) The application referred to in sub-section (1) shall not be

entertained unless it is accompanied by the original arbitration

agreement or a duly certified copy thereof or a copy accompanied

by an affidavit calling upon the other party to produce the original

arbitration agreement or duly certified thereof in circumstances

where the original arbitration agreement or duly certified copy is

retained only by the other party.

LC Comment: In many transactions involving Government bodies

and smaller market players, the original/duly certified copy of the

arbitration agreement is only retained by the former. This

amendment would ensure that the latter class is not prejudiced in

any manner by virtue of the same” (Ref: 246th Law Commission

Report, Government of India)

27. The language of amendment to Section 8 of the Act is clear that

the amendment to Section 8(1) of the Act would apply notwithstanding

any prayer, judgment, decree or order of the Supreme Court or any other

Court. The High Court laid emphasis upon the word “…..unless it finds

that prima-facie no valid agreement exists”. The High Court observed

that there is no arbitration agreement between Astonfield and Rishabh.

After referring to Sukanya Holdings and the amended Section 8 and

Section 45 of the Act, the High Court pointed out the difference in

language of Section 8 and Section 45 of the Act. The High Court

distinguished between Sukanya Holdings and Chloro Controls, and

observed that Sukanya Holdings was not overruled by Chloro

Controls. In para (23) of the impugned judgment, it was held as under:-

“23. ……The change in Section 8 is that the Court is to – in cases

where arbitration agreements are relied on- to refer the disputes in

the suit, to arbitration, “notwithstanding any judgment, decree or

25

order of the Supreme Court or any Court, refer the parties to

arbitration unless it finds that prima facie no valid arbitration

agreement exists”. The Court is of opinion that Sukanya is not per

se overruled, because the exercise of whether an arbitration

agreement exists between the parties, in relation to the disputes

that are the subject matter of the suit, has to be carried out. If there

are causes of action that cannot be subjected to arbitration, or the

suit involves adjudication of the role played by parties who are not

signatories to the arbitration agreement, it has to continue because

“prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists” between such

non parties and others, who are parties.”

28. Re: contention: allegations of fraud disable an arbitration:- Yet

another ground based on which the High Court declined to refer the

parties to arbitration is the allegations of fraud levelled by

respondents/plaintiffs in their plaint against Astonfield and appellant no.1.

The High Court held that the respondents levelled allegations of fraud

against the appellants which raise serious triable issues of fraud and

hence, the matter cannot be referred to arbitration.

29. According to the respondents, it is not a case where “fraud is

alleged merely to disable an arbitration”. Mr. Sibal, learned senior

counsel for respondents contended that the plaint is based on the

averments that from inception, the intention of appellants/defendants was

to cheat the respondents and the respondents were made to part with

large sums of money on the basis of the misrepresentation made by the

appellants. It was submitted that alternative prayer in the plaint will not

convert the fraud suit to a regulatory suit because of alternative prayer

since alternative prayer – ‘lease rental’ has been projected only as an

26

alternative remedy. Placing reliance upon Arundhati Mishra (Smt) v. Sri

Ram Charitra Pandey (1994) 2 SCC 29, it was submitted that it is

settled law that it is open to the parties to raise mutually inconsistent

pleas and the relief could be granted on the alternative plea so raised.

30. Refuting the above contentions, Mr. Shanti Bhushan, learned

senior counsel for the appellants placed reliance upon Ayyasamy case

to contend that there are no serious allegations in the plaint to decline

reference of the matter to arbitration. It was submitted that mere

allegations of fraud were not sufficient to detract from the performance of

the obligation of the parties in terms of the agreement and refer the

matter to arbitration.

31. Under the Act, an arbitration agreement means an agreement

which is enforceable in law and the jurisdiction of the arbitrator is on the

basis of an arbitration clause contained in the arbitration agreement.

However, in a case where the parties alleged that the arbitration

agreement is vitiated on account of fraud, the Court may refuse to refer

the parties to arbitration. In Ayyasamy case, this Court held that mere

allegation of fraud is not a ground to nullify the effect of arbitration

agreement between the parties and arbitration clause need not be

avoided and parties can be relegated to arbitration where merely simple

allegations of fraud touched upon internal affairs of parties is levelled.

27

Justice A.K. Sikri observed that it is only in those cases where the Court

finds that there are serious allegations of fraud which make a virtual case

of criminal offence and where there are complicated allegations of fraud

then it becomes necessary that such complex issues can be decided only

by the civil court on the appreciation of evidence that needs to be

produced. In para (25) of Ayyasamy case, Justice Sikri held as under:-

“25…..Therefore, the inquiry of the Court, while dealing with an

application under Section 8 of the Act, should be on the aforesaid

aspect viz. whether the nature of dispute is such that it cannot be

referred to arbitration, even if there is an arbitration agreement

between the parties. When the case of fraud is set up by one of the

parties and on that basis that party wants to wriggle out of that

arbitration agreement, a strict and meticulous inquiry into the

allegations of fraud is needed and only when the Court is satisfied

that the allegations are of serious and complicated nature that it

would be more appropriate for the Court to deal with the subjectmatter

rather than relegating the parties to arbitration, then alone

such an application under Section 8 should be rejected.”

32. While concurring with Justice Sikri, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud

pointed out that the duty of the Court is to impart “sense of business

efficacy” to the commercial transactions pointing out that mere

allegations of fraud were not sufficient to decline to refer the parties to

arbitration. In para (48) of Ayyasamy case, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud

held as under:-

“48. The basic principle which must guide judicial decisionmaking

is that arbitration is essentially a voluntary assumption of

an obligation by contracting parties to resolve their disputes

through a private tribunal. The intent of the parties is expressed in

the terms of their agreement. Where commercial entities and

persons of business enter into such dealings, they do so with a

28

knowledge of the efficacy of the arbitral process. The

commercial understanding is reflected in the terms of the

agreement between the parties. The duty of the court is to

impart to that commercial understanding a sense of business

efficacy.” (Underlining added)

33. When we apply the aforesaid principles to the facts of the present

case, as discussed earlier, both parties have consciously proceeded with

the commercial transactions to commission the Photovoltaic Solar Plant

at Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. The first respondent has proceeded

to procure the materials, entered into agreement with Juwi India for

engineering, installation and commissioning and the sale and purchase

agreement with Astonfield, were all the conscious steps taken in the

commercial understanding to commission the Solar Plant at Dongri,

Raksa, District Jhansi, U.P. Even though Juwi India and Astonfield are not

parties to the main agreement – Equipment Lease Agreement

(14.03.2012), all the agreements/contracts contain clauses referring to

the main agreement. It is the duty of the Court to impart the commercial

understanding with a “sense of business efficacy” and not by the mere

averments made in the plaint. The High Court was not right in refusing to

refer the parties on the ground of the allegations of fraud levelled in the

plaint.

34. It is only where serious questions of fraud are involved, the

arbitration can be refused. In this case, as contended by the appellants

29

there were no serious allegations of fraud; the allegations levelled against

Astonfield is that appellant no.1 – Ameet Lalchand Shah misrepresented

by inducing the respondents to pay higher price for the purchase of the

equipments. There is, of course, a criminal case registered against the

appellants in FIR No.30 of 2015 dated 05.03.2015 before the Economic

Offences Wing, Delhi. The appellant no.1 – Ameet Lalchand Shah has

filed Criminal Writ Petition No.619 of 2016 before the High Court of Delhi

for quashing the said FIR. The said writ petition is stated to be pending

and therefore, we do not propose to express any views in this regard,

lest, it would prejudice the parties. Suffice to say that the allegations

cannot be said to be so serious to refuse to refer the parties to arbitration.

In any event, the Arbitrator appointed can very well examine the

allegations regarding fraud.

35. Main agreement – Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) for

leasing and commissioning of Solar Plant at Dongri, Raksa, District

Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh contains arbitration clause (Clause 29). As

discussed earlier, other three agreements – two agreements between

Rishabh and Juwi India (01.02.2012) and Sale and Purchase Agreement

(05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield are integrally connected

with the commercial understanding of commissioning the Solar Project at

Dongri, Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and to resolve the dispute

30

between the parties, they are to be referred to arbitration. The order of

the High Court declining to refer the parties to arbitration cannot be

sustained and is liable to be set aside. The four agreements namely:- (i)

Equipment and Material Supply Contract (01.02.2012) between Rishabh

and Juwi India; (ii) Engineering, Installation and Commissioning Contract

(01.02.2012) between Rishabh and Juwi India; (iii) Sale and Purchase

Agreement (05.03.2012) between Rishabh and Astonfield; and (iv)

Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012) between Rishabh and Dante

Energy and the parties thereon are referred to arbitration.

36. As per the terms of Equipment Lease Agreement (14.03.2012),

appellant No.3 – Dante Energy has to pay lease rentals of Rs.13,67,500/-

for the month of March, 2012 and with effect from April, 2012 to pay

lease rentals of Rs.28,26,000/- per month for a period of fifteen years.

Learned Senior Counsel for respondents, Mr. Sibal has submitted that

appellant No.3 – Dante Energy has not paid the rentals as per the terms

and conditions of Equipment Lease Agreement. Mr. Sibal has also drawn

our attention that Astonfield Solar Rajasthan Pvt. Ltd. has transferred

99.99% of its shares to ARRL (Mauritius) Ltd. (Holding Company) and

Ameet Lalchand Shah has only one share (0.01%). Our attention was

also drawn to Astonfield Solar Gujarat Pvt. Ltd., which has also

transferred 99.99% of its shares to ARRL (Mauritius) Ltd. (Holding

31

Company) and that Ameet Lalchand Shah has only one share (0.01%). It

was also submitted that the appellant No.1 – Ameet Lalchand Shah was

subsequently removed from the Board of Directors of Astonfield Solar

Gujarat Pvt. Ltd. by the shareholders by EGM dated 17.12.2016. We do

not propose to go into the merits of this contention; however, keeping in

view that Astonfield has transferred its shareholdings qua Rajasthan and

Gujarat Solar Power units, in our view, the interest of the respondents is

to be protected till the matter is resolved by the arbitrator by directing the

appellants to pay the arrears of lease rent and also to pay the future

lease rent for the equipments at the rate of Rs.28,26,000/- per month.

37. The impugned order of the High Court is set aside and this appeal

is allowed. All the aforesaid four agreements and the parties thereon are

referred to arbitration. By notice dated 13.02.2016, appellants have

nominated Justice Sujata Manohar, former Judge of the Supreme Court

of India as their Arbitrator. We leave it open to the parties as to the

choice of the Arbitrator. If the parties are not in a position to arrive at

consensus as to the Arbitrator, the parties shall approach the appropriate

High Court for appointment of the Arbitrator. Appellants are jointly and

severely liable to pay the arrears of lease rent and also to pay the future

lease rent for the equipments of the PV Solar Power Plant at Dongri,

Raksa, District Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh at the rate of Rs.28,26,000/- per

32

month till the disposal of the arbitration proceedings. Such payment of

lease rent shall be without prejudice to the contentions of both parties

and shall be subject to the final outcome of arbitration proceedings.

Since parties are referred to arbitration, commercial Suit No.85 of 2017

filed by the respondents on the file of Delhi High Court shall stand

disposed of. No cost.

.…….……………………J.

[RANJAN GOGOI]

…………….……………J.

[R. BANUMATHI]

New Delhi;

May 03, 2018

33