Delhi HC directs former SC judge to mediate in Oyo’s lease dispute

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has appointed Justice Vikramajit Sen, former Supreme Court judge, as the sole arbitrator in a lease deed dispute involving Oyo Hotels and Homes Pvt Ltd.

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Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva was hearing Oyo’s plea that a clause in the lease deed refers to an additional assets purchase agreement dated October 23, 2019, executed between the hospitality major and respondent Parveen Juneja.

Both the parties’ documents contain similar arbitration clauses, and they are liable to be referred to a sole arbitrator, Oyo’s counsel argued.

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Opposing this, the respondent’s counsel submitted that the lease deed itself stipulates that the property has been handed over on ‘as is where is’ basis and the respective obligations under the assets purchase agreement have been duly performed, and as such there is no dispute surviving that is referable to the arbitration. He submitted that the claim is mere deadwood and as such cannot be referred to an arbitral tribunal.

Further, the court observed that in the present case, both the lease deed as well as the assets purchase agreement contain similar arbitration clauses. Further, the lease deed specifically stipulates that parties have entered into an assets purchase agreement which was attached as a schedule-H to the lease deed.

“This is not a case where the petitioner by implication seeks incorporation of an arbitration clause in an agreement which does not contain an arbitration clause,” said the order dated April 28 allowing the petition.

Accordingly, the mediator has been appointed and the court said the arbitrator shall furnish the requisite disclosure under Section 12 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 within two weeks of entering reference.

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