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Sahni Enterprises Vs. New Filmistan Cinema, Delhi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectArbitration
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 65 of 1984
Judge
Reported in1986(1)ARBLR411(Delhi); 1986(10)DRJ6
ActsArbitration Act, 1940 - Sections 20
AppellantSahni Enterprises
RespondentNew Filmistan Cinema, Delhi
Advocates: K.K. Mehra and; Anil Sapra, Advs
Excerpt:
arbitration act - section 20--reference to the arbitration--how to made--the dispute sought fo be referred is between m/s sahoi enterprises and m/s filraistan exhibitors pvt. ltd.--the basis of agreement signed by sahni enterprises and sb. dhani ram for filmistsn cinema.;there must first be an arbitration agreement and there must be & dispute between the parties to that arbitration agreement--there is no dispute arising on this agreement because m/s filmistan exhibitors pvt. ltd. is not a party to this agreement--reference refused. - .....a reference to arbitration on the basis of an agreement between m/s sahni enterprises and m/s filmistan cinema but the first respondent company m/s filmistan exhibitors pvt. ltd. claim that they were not party to the alleged agreement and actually the agreement was one between m/s sahni enterprise and movies pvt. ltd. who were bookers to a cinema known as filmistan cinema situated at model basti. the learned single judge held from the evidence that it was not established that the agreement had been signed on behalf of m/s filmistan exhibitors pvt. ltd. (2) the real question to be decided in the petition under section 20 was whether there was a valid arbitration agreement between m/s sahni enterprises and m/s filmistan exhibitors pvt. ltd. but there appears to have been a contusion.....
Judgment:

D.K. Kapur, J.

(1) This appeal is directed against the judgment of a learned single Judge rejecting the petition under Section 20 of the Arbitration Act filed on the basis of an alleged agreement dated 12th December, 1974. The petitioner was seeking a reference to arbitration on the basis of an agreement between M/s Sahni Enterprises and M/s Filmistan Cinema but the first respondent company M/s Filmistan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. claim that they were not party to the alleged agreement and actually the agreement was one between M/s Sahni Enterprise and Movies Pvt. Ltd. who were bookers to a cinema known as Filmistan Cinema situated at Model Basti. The learned single Judge held from the evidence that it was not established that the agreement had been signed on behalf of M/s Filmistan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd.

(2) The real question to be decided in the petition under Section 20 was whether there was a valid arbitration agreement between M/s Sahni Enterprises and M/s Filmistan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. but there appears to have been a contusion in the case of the petitioner because the agreement was made between M/s Sahni Enterprise and Filmistan Cinema Delhi and was signed by one Dhani Ram, who was apparently an employee of M/s Movies Pvt. Ltd.

(3) Learned counsel for the appellant urges that the learned single Judge was wrong in refusing to file the agreement and make a reference to the arbitration but we think that the learned single Judge was not wrong. The document of which a copy has been shown to us is signed for M/s Sahni Enterprises and for Filmistan Cinema. There is no such party as M/s Filmistan Cinema. There is a cinema known as New Filmistan Cinema, situated at Model Basti and owner of that may be M/s Filmistan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. The alleged agreement between the parties is not signed on behalf of M/s Filmistan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. but on behalf of Filmistan Cinema which does not appear to be either a name of a company or a legal entity.

(4) The conclusion that there was no valid agreement was also reached by the learned single Judge on the evidence of Shri K. K. Jalan, one of the Directors of Filmistan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. who stated that there was no such person employed by the Company as Dhani Ram. There was also a reference to some other letters in which the appellant themselves had described Dhani Ram belonging to M/s Movies Pvt. Ltd. It was thus concluded that the agreement was not concluded between the appellant and M/s Filmistan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. As the case of the appellant was that the film had been exhibited and as such it was sought to be urged that there must have been some agreement on the basis of which that picture was screened. As no alternative agreement had been put forward, it is urged that the picture Aaina must have been screened under the agreement under which an arbitration is sought. We must say that this is not the real point to be decided in an arbitration. There must first be an arbitration agreement and there must be a dispute between the parties to that arbitration agreement. What is being sought to be referred is a dispute between M/s Sahni Enterprises and M/s Filmi'itan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. on the basis of an agreement signed by M/s Sahni Enterprises and Shri Dhani Ram for Filmistan Cinema. There is no dispute arising on this agreement because M/s Filmistan Exhibitors Pvt. Ltd. is not a party to this agreement. This is why this matter cannot be referred to arbitration and the appellant must be left to go to the ordinary civil court. As the matter cannot be referred to arbitration, the appeal is dismissed but we leave the parties to bear their own costs.


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