Jharkhand High Court Affirms Written Arbitration Requirement, Appoints Arbitrator for Tata Steel Case

The Jharkhand High Court, under Acting Chief Justice Shree Chandrashekhar, clarified that an arbitration clause must be in writing and signed by the parties, as per Section 7 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

Tata Steel Utilities and Infrastructure Services Limited (TSUISL) sought an arbitrator’s appointment for a delayed project awarded in 2017, alleging Jharkhand Urban Infrastructure Development Company Limited (JUIDCO) failed to meet deadlines and provide necessary clearances. TSUISL claimed JUIDCO owed them over Rs. 12 crore. JUIDCO countered, saying the claims should go to the District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMFT), not through arbitration.

The High Court ruled that the arbitration clause’s existence must be verified and found TSUISL’s application maintainable. Devendra Kumar Tiwary, former Chief Secretary of Jharkhand, was appointed as the arbitrator, with proceedings to begin within 30 days in Ranchi.

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