Chennai, Mar 24 (PTI) The Madras High Court has set aside a single judge order of 2014, allowing the Chennai Port Trust (CPT) to impose Rs 63.08 crore fine on the Chennai Container Teriminal for alleged non-achievement of output targets and directed the CPT to return the amount.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose, directed the CPT to return the amount while allowing an appeal by CCT against the order of the single judge.
In December 2007, the CPT had said the container terminal had failed to achieve the required percentage of non-transhipment traffic as per the licence agreement and slapped a fine of Rs 63.86 crore.
Besides, the port encashed Rs 47.08-crore bank guarantee granted by the terminal, the court was informed.
The dispute was referred to an arbitration tribunal presided over by former Chief Justice of India R C Lahoti. The other two members were former judges of the high court — Justice R Jayasimha Babu and Justice S A Kader.
In 2013, the tribunal had ruled in favour of the CCT and directed the Port Trust to return the Rs.63.86 crore to the terminal. Aggrieved by the award, the Port Trust moved the High Court.
When the plea came up for hearing, the Bench said, “In our view, the single judge has failed to appreciate the law relating to the setting aside of an arbitral award under the Arbitration Act, 1996.”
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.