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法院依法撤销明显违法且违反公共政策的仲裁裁决(印度案例)

2020616日,在Slum Rehablitation Authority vs M. M. ProjectConsultants Pvt. Ltd 一案。孟买高等法院以诉争仲裁裁决没有依据记录的证据和()裁决没有基于任何证据;仲裁庭对合同条款曲解,导致了明显的错误;裁决内容存在矛盾,且仲裁庭没有基于证据得出裁决结论等因素,依据印度《仲裁与调解法》第34条认定该裁决无效,违反公共政策,判决撤销该裁决。

一、案情介绍

申请人Slum Rehablitation AuthorityMaharashtra政府依据Maharashtra贫民区改善、清理和再开发法案设立的法人。被申请人M. M. Project ConsultantsPvt. Ltd是依据《1956年公司法》依法成立的公司,其董事长兼董事mukesh Mehta先生简称Mehta为其代表人。

2004年,Maharashtra政府决定采用PPP模式对孟买Dharavi地区进行集群式再开发(简称DRP)。政府还决定DRP项目通过全球招标系统进行招标。200424日,政府通过住建部发布了一项决议(简称GR),该决议表明政府对DRP的预算为56亿卢比。政府任命MehtaDRP的顾问(该任命未经公开招标),由申请人向其支付报酬。根据上述决议,申请人启动了DRP工作,Mehta担任顾问。

2008111日,申请人与被申请人就Dharavi贫民区开发项目签订了《项目管理顾问服务协议》简称PMC协议,协议约定了被申请人应提供的服务。协议另约定,申请人按照协议附录E所列内容向被申请人支付报酬,该费用以5600亿卢比的1%为限分期支付。被申请人按照附录E完成前期招标后由申请人向其支付1%25%;余下75%用于投标后支付。上述费用中申请人预留5%作为保证金,在项目达到申请人预期效果后支付。

PMC协议第6.4条规定:5%保证金额将在项目结束时发给被申请人。其中部分保证金在项目得到竣工证书后发放,其余部分保证金在竣工证书签发之日起三年后发放。双方合意,如项目进展顺利,申请人将在该地区被出售后从潜在的开发商那里获得溢价0.5%,该笔费用由潜在开发商支付给申请人后,申请人向被申请人支付。也就是说,被申请人的报酬与项目营利有关。

PMC协议第2.8.1条规定的解除条款为:如依据本条2.8.1a)至(f)规定的情形提出解除,可以在不少于六十(60天)的时间内书发出解除通知

PMC协议附录E约定的付款进度为:准备项目启动计划——10.59%,草案的准备和批准——6.4%,提出公告建议——1.8%,地产收购建议——0.4% ……”

20075月,申请人发布了全球招标公告。但最终,竞标过程于2011516日被取消。申请人称在该项目后期,被申请人未进行任何招标活动,且从未达到项目要求。

由于项目一直没有推进,2010226日,被申请人作为仲裁申请人向申请人提起仲裁(第一次仲裁)。被申请人认为,项目本应在90个月内(含前期招标工作6个月)竣工,但该项目的前期招标已过6年,仍处于前期招标停滞状态。被申请人向申请人主张停滞/迟延成本。

2012621日,三人仲裁庭对第一次仲裁作出裁决。该份裁决认定由于该项目处于停滞状态,故申请人应向被申请人支付招标活动的报酬(含利息)。仲裁庭还要求申请人依据《PMC协议》第6.4条向被申请人支付保证金。

被申请人在第一次仲裁裁决做出后,向申请人致函要求其支付第6.4条项下保证金,并在函中附上费用发票。申请人于201284日回函称其同意支付第6.4条项下保证金。申请人通知被申请人,原定的招标已取消,其已指定了Maharashtra 住房和区域发展机构简称MHADA负责项目。申请人根据《PMC协议》第2.8.1g)条通知被申请人解除《PMC协议》。此后,政府未能批准向被申请人支付延期期间费用的申请。

2012823日,被申请人就84日函进行回复,称申请人的解除行为不当,并应依据《PMC协议》第6.4条向被申请人支付保证金。

被申请人认为《PMC协议》未终止,因此于201338日向仲裁庭提起了第二次仲裁。被申请人就申请人不当的解除行为主张利润损失、机会损失、商誉损失、对其计划、图纸、设计、概念和其他知识产权的损失。

2016130日,被申请人就DRP在报纸上刊登了招标广告。

2018215日,仲裁庭针对第二次仲裁作出裁决,即本案诉争裁决。该裁决认为申请人解除《PMC协议》于法无据,故支持了被申请人关于利润损失赔偿的主张,并支持了被申请人就该赔偿部分产生的利息损失。

申请人根据《仲裁与调解法》第34条请求撤销仲裁裁决。法院对该申请人作出如下认定。

二、法院认定

法院经审理认为,本案有3个争议焦点,即,(一)被申请人是否拒绝履行《PMC协议》?(二)申请人解除合同/PMC协议》是否合法和有效?(三)仲裁庭裁定损失赔偿在法律和事实上是否正确?

(i) As to whether the Respondent repudiated the PM Cagreement ? (ii) As to whether the termination of the contract/PMC agreement by the petitioner was legal and valid ? (iii) Whether the arbitral tribunal is correct in law and facts in awarding damages ?

(一)被申请人是否拒绝履行《PMC协议》

法院认为,合同的一方可以以明示或默示的方式来拒绝履行合同约定的义务。( A party to a contract thus either expressly or by implication can take a position that the other party to the contract would not be performing its obligation under the contract and that the contract accordingly would come to an end.

第一次仲裁裁决后,被申请人于2012625日向申请人发函请求其依据《PMC协议》第6.4条向其支付保证金,并随函邮递发票。依据第6.4条,被申请人仅有在《PMC协议》履行完毕后可以向申请人主张保证金,因此被申请人的行为是拒绝履行《PMC协议》的行为。(After the award was pronounced in the first Arbitration on 21st June 2012, the respondent by its letter dated 25 th June 2012 raised an invoice of the same date, demanding from the petitioner, payment of retention amount which was being retained by the petitioner in accordance with Clause 6.4 of the PMC Agreement, which the petitioner was actually required to pay to the respondent only on completion of the project. The petitioner accordingly, urged before the Arbitral Tribunal that once the respondent demanded the retention amount which as per Clause 6.4 was payable on completion of the project, such act on the part of the respondent, was an act of repudiation of PMC Agreement.

此外,法院认为,仲裁庭无视记录在卷的证据。首先,被申请人不仅在2012625日函中向申请人请求支付保证金,而且在2012823日对终止通知函的答复函中也维持了上述主张。此外,函中载明被申请人确认并重申了2012625日的附函发票。法院基于此认定被申请人拒绝履行。法院还认为,只有当事人预见合同不能继续履行,才需要跳过合同条款去寻求合同利益。这就是被申请人请求支付只有在合同履行完毕后才能拿到的保证金的原因。(The above observation of the Arbitral Tribunal in my opinion, completely overlooks the clear evidence on record. This for two-fold reasons. Firstly, the Respondents not only by its letter dated 25 June 2012 which was addressed to the Petitioner, immediately after the Arbitral Tribunal rendered the first Award, demanded the retention amount which was admittedly payable after the completion of the contract but also maintained the said demand even in the Respondent's reply dated 23 August 2012 to the termination notice. The Respondent hence justified the said demand inter alia recording that the Respondents confirmed and reiterated the invoices sent to the Petitioner along with letter dated 25 June 2012 which in my opinion would certainly amount to repudiation. Only a person who foresees that the contract is not on foot and that nothing further would be required to be done by him, would like to jump the contractual conditions to seek a benefit what it would be entitled at the end of the contract. This is what has exactly happened with the respondents by demanding the retention amount which would have been entitled only at the end of the contract.

法院认为,其次,当第一个仲裁裁决将保证金授予被申请人,并据此要求被申请人就上述金额提出请求时,就产生了被申请人不再履行的法律后果。被申请人请求支付保证金并继续履行合同的行为会直接与合同约定的内容相反。仲裁庭不可能依据这个不能被接受且含糊的理由,无视重要且记录在案的证据。从表面上看,这种对上述原因的推理是反常的。(In my opinion, when the arbitral award in the first arbitration, granted retention amount to the respondents (although not prayed for) and in pursuance thereto, a demand being raised by the respondent for the said amount, a legal consequence was brought about and which would flow from such demand qua the contract, namely the respondent accepting that the contract is not to be performed any further, that is repudiating the contract. Any other meaning to be attributed to such a conduct of the respondent would amount to observing something contrary to clause 6.4 or putting the parties in a position contrary to the said contractual condition. The arbitral tribunal could not have discarded this overwhelming evidence on record to record by assigning an unacceptable and cryptic reasoning as set out in the impugned award namely that as Respondent had demanded the retention money, in pursuance of the Award it would not amount to repudiation. This reasoning for the above reasons on the face of the record amounts to a perversity.

因此,法院认为,被申请人向申请人主张支付保证金,从该行为可以看出,被申请人通过行为明确表示其不再履行合同项下的义务。申请人也意识到这一点,并支付了被申请人保证金。因此认同了申请人的观点,即被申请人拒绝履行《PMC协议》。(In the present case as noted above the respondent by its eminent conduct evinced a clear intention that it is no longer required to perform its obligation under the contract and accordingly demanded the retention money contrary to the terms of the contract. The petitioner also recognized this and paid the retention amount which was accepted by the respondent. Thus, the principle echoed by this decision, in fact would assist the petitioner.

(二)申请人解除合同/PMC协议》是否合法有效

申请人解除《PMC协议》是援引第2.8.1(g)条。根据该条,双方达成合意,申请人可以解除协议,解除理由是由于法律或诉讼原因,DRP没有得到执行和/或被国家政府停止和放弃。(the termination of the PMC agreement by the Petitioner was by invoking clause 2.8.1(g) under which the parties agreed that the Petitioner could terminate the agreement for the reason that the DRP was not being implemented and/or stopped and abandoned by the State Government due to any change in law or litigation or for any reason whatsoever.PMC协议第2.8.1.条规定的解除条款为:“如依据本条2.8.1a)至(f)规定的情形提出解除,可以在不少于六十(60天)的时间内书发出解除通知”。

法院认为,申请人援引《PMC协议》第2.8.1(g)条,于201284日通过解除函终止《PMC协议》。从记录中可以清楚地看出,足以使被申请人知道,与PMC协定有关的DRP没有得到执行和/或停止放弃。The petitioner terminated PMC Agreement vide termination letter dated 4th August 2012, invoking Clause 2.8.1(g) of the PMC agreement. It is clearly seen from the record that there were number of reasons and sufficiently to the knowledge of the Respondent that the DRP in the nature it was conceived, relevant to the PMC Agreement, was not being implemented and/or stopped nay abandoned.

法院认为,从事实上可以看出,即使被申请人也承认合同如同已经死亡。仲裁庭完全忽视了这一点。该情况显然导致申请人援引第2.8.1(g)条的规定,从而不可避免地解除合同。因此,这种情况不能认定申请人的行为违反合同。除此之外,如上文所述,被申请人本身明确要求保留金额,不再履行合同。因此,显然存在不可能履行合同的情况,而不是申请人故意或意图不履行或拒绝履行其义务。记录在案的证据清楚地表明,合同已停止。(In fact, it can be observed that the circumstances were so sweeping and fundamental that even the respondent acknowledged the circumstances, to be as good as that the contract being dead. This is clearly established on the facts as explicitly staring from the evidence, which has been completely ignored and overlooked by the Arbitral Tribunal. These circumstances obviously led to a consequence of the petitioner rightly invoking termination clause as contained in Clause 2.8.1(g) inevitably terminating the contract. Surely, the circumstances were not such which can be classified to be an action on the part of the petitioner to have breached the contract. This apart, as noted above, the respondent itself undoubtedly had repudiated the contract by demanding the retention amount. Thus, there was a clear situation of impossibility of performance of the contract and not a deliberate or intentional failure or refusal on the part of the petitioner to perform its obligations. The evidence on record clearly indicated that the contract had ceased to remain on foot.

此外,最重要的是,从被申请人起诉的过程看,被申请人充分意识到DRP并未得到执行和/或停止的事实。其在2012年案件中已表明该项目已暂停;第二,该项目由政府修改,被申请人对修改没有发言权;第三,申请人放弃了投标活动,MHADA被任命为该项目的开发商。(Moreover what was writ large was that the respondent being well aware of the fact that the DRP was not being implemented and/or was stopped, was also quite clear from its own assertion before this Court in the proceedings of Arbitration Petition No.1130 of 2012 as noted in the order passed by this Court on the said petition, as extracted above, when the Respondent as a matter of record asserted firstly that the project has been suspended by the petitioner over which the Respondent had no control; secondly that the project was modified by the Government and the Respondent had no say over the modifications; and thirdly that the tender activities were abandoned by the Petitioner and MHADA was appointed as a Developer for the project.

法院认为,被申请人实际上默认了DRP已经停止或放弃。仲裁庭作出的解释,将完全改变终止条款的含义,即各方当事人已达成协议,事实上取代和/或改写了合同条款。这当然是仲裁庭对终止条款的错误解释。(In my opinion the arbitral tribunal has made an interpretation which would wholly change the meaning of the termination clause as to what the parties had agreed and in fact supplants and/or has re-written the contractual clause. It is certainly a perverse interpretation of the termination clause by the arbitral tribunal.

因此法院认为,申请人的解除是合法有效的。

(三)仲裁庭裁定损失赔偿在法律和事实上是否正确

法院认为,被申请人在本案仲裁阶段发布招标广告的目的仅仅是为了在庭审中找到向对方主张索赔的证据,而仲裁过程中,被申请人并未提供证据证明2016130日发布的全球招标的必要正当性。早在2011年,招标过程便已中止。法院认为,仲裁庭采纳2016130日发布的关于2007DRP招标广告,从而认定《PMC协议》有关的DRP仍然有效的结论是与证据不相符。仲裁庭在得出上述结论时完全放弃了记录在案的实质性证据。法院看不出仲裁庭在没有证据的情况下如何能够接受被申请人的观点,即通过在2016130日发布广告使2007DRP得以延续,从而得出与PMC协议有关的DRP仍然有效的结论。法院认为,根据先前的庭审笔录,甚至被申请人也在针对第一次裁决的诉讼中接受了2007-DRP已陷入死胡同的状态。(In my opinion and as rightly contended on behalf of the Petitioner the arbitral tribunal in reaching to the above conclusion, has completely discarded the substantive evidence on record, namely that the respondent was not in a position to substantiate, as to what was being advertised, on 30 January 2016 was not under the scheme as envisaged in the year 2007 for which 'expression of interest' were invited and the bidding process was required to be aborted, as far back as in 2011, as noted above. To my mind, one would be totally at a loss, to discern as to how the arbitral tribunal could accept the respondent's case of the 2007 DRP being continued by the Petitioner by issuing advertisement on 30 January 2016, so as to conclude that the DRP relevant to the PMC agreement was alive, when the evidence was otherwise. Even the Respondent had accepted the dead end of the road of the 2007- DRP as recorded by this Court in the previous litigation as arising from the first award.

此外,被申请人针对利润损失的主张提供了两名证人。M/s.Ballal 工程有限公司创始董事,GirishRanade先生和Gauri Shah女士,特许会计师兼C.C.Chokshi财务咨询公司顾问董事。上述二人对损失出具了报告,由于报告所附的计量表和估计数不是被申请人出示的,没有被仲裁庭记录。因此,申请人也未对证人进行询问。然而,仲裁庭却采纳了该报告中的内容。

法院在阅读了仲裁庭的上述调查结果之后发现,仲裁庭援引201139日函,该函是DRP首席执行官写给住建部长的内容,表示发溢价为311.56亿卢比。法院认为,该函不能说明申请人获得该笔利润。仲裁庭完全无视被申请人对此函的答辩。因此,没有确切的资料显示评估数额是否为上述信件中所载的正确数额,且没有证据表明政府完全接受该数额。( On a reading of the above findings of the arbitral tribunal, to my mind……The arbitral tribunal has supported this conclusion also referring to a letter dated 9 March 2011 which was a letter of CEO DRP to the Secretary Housing, who had estimated the premium for the development to be undertaken by MHADA at Rs.31156 crores. Admittedly, neither the author of this letter was examined by the respondent on the basis of which such an estimate was made by the said officer of the respondent or anyone from M/s.Darashaw & Co. Pvt.Ltd who had made estimates, and on what basis, was not before the arbitral tribunal. Thus the letter dated 9 March 2011 could in no manner amount to any admission in regard to the profits to be earned by the petitioner. When one speaks of profits there are so many other intricacies of deductions etc. to arrive at the actual figure of gross profit. These basic requirements in considering the respondent's plea on this letter are completely discarded by the arbitral tribunal. Further an estimate cannot have any sanctity. Thus, there was no cogent material as to whether the estimate was the correct estimate as contained in the said letter and whether it was at all accepted by the State Government.

法院采纳了申请人观点,认为Dharavi重建项目不是一个普通的建筑项目,涉及许多复杂环节,甚至包括土地购置。项目的成功取决于几个或有因素,这也决定支付给项目管理顾问(被申请人)的费用。如果没有一个真正意义上的项目,被申请人不会提供任何服务。(I am in agreement with Mr. Khambatta, learned senior counsel for the petitioner when he would urge that the arbitral tribunal, has completely overlooked the nature of the project, a relevant factor in considering a claim for damages. According to him, the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, was not a ordinary construction project, it was a project as pointed out by Mr. Khambata involving number of complexities which even included land acquisition. The success of the project depended on several contingent factors, on which depended the fees to be payable to the project management consultant-the respondent. In the absence of a project in its real sense there was no question of any services being rendered by the respondent.

法院认为,被申请人援引现有仲裁提出损害赔偿请求,于法无据,且无事实依据,这种做法是徒劳的,仲裁庭显然不可能使被申请人处于更好的处境,那么被申请人会发现自己处于合同将执行的情况,根据PMC协议第6.1B)条的规定,申请人无需进行任何投标后活动或收取任何溢价,从而将其份额授予被申请人。(In my opinion the respondent by invoking the present arbitration and by making such ambitious claim for damages has traded on a path of futility, when tested not only in law but on the clear facts on record. If this be the position, then clearly the Arbitral Tribunal could not have placed the respondent in better position, then the respondent could have found itself in case contract was to be on foot, subsisting as surely the petitioner itself was not required to undertake any post tender activities or receive any premium so as to grant its share as per Clause No.6.1(B) of the PMC Agreement to the respondent.

法院认为,从任何角度看,仲裁庭都不可能作出有利于被申请人支持其获得不当解除合同的赔偿,也看不出被申请人可以取得相应利息。(As a sequel to the above discussion in my opinion looked from any angle the arbitral tribunal could not have awarded in favour of the respondent damages of Rs. 86.72 crores for the alleged wrongful termination of the contract and the consequential award of interest in the said amount.

法院认为,仲裁庭裁定损害赔偿的前提是申请人解除《PMC协议》是非法的。(It is again required to be noted that the award of damages by the Arbitral Tribunal is, on the premise that the termination of the PMC agreement by the petitioner was unlawful.

综上所述,法院认为,上述对涉及裁决合法性的每一个问题的审议,不容置疑地表明,仲裁裁决没有考虑到记录在案的证据和(或)裁决结果没有任何证据支持。除此之外,还有对合同条款的不当解释,导致了明显的错误。仲裁裁决中也存在内部矛盾,而且裁决结果是在没有证据的情况下得出。当这么多的因素在案卷上显而易见时,他们只会指向一个结论,即根据《仲裁与调解法》34条仲裁裁决完全是无效的和不可持续的。因此,诉争裁决违反公共政策。法院基于这些理由撤销仲裁裁决。(The above deliberation on each of the issues touching the legality of the award leaves no room for any doubt that the arbitral award does not take into consideration the evidence on record and/or the findings are based on no evidence. This apart there is a perverse interpretation of the contractual terms, leading to a patent absurdity on the face of the record.There are also internal contradictions in the arbitral award coupled with findings being arrived on no evidence. When so many assailing factors are apparent on the face of the record, they would point out to only one conclusion that the arbitral award is wholly vitiated and unsustainable on the ground of perversity and patent illegality as available under Section 34 of the ACA. Consequently, the impugned award would also be required to be held as contrary to public policy. Theprinciples of law to set aside an arbitral award on these grounds are also required to be noted.

三、评论

本案法院撤销仲裁裁决的依据是仲裁庭在审理过程中无视案卷中的证据,依据不存在的证据不仅对双方达成的合同进行曲解,而且得出了自相矛盾的裁决,这违反印度的公共政策。

具体而言,关于裁决违反“公共政策”而被撤销规定在《仲裁与调解法》第34条,关于拒绝执行违反“公共政策”的裁决规定在《仲裁与调解法》第48条中。印度在2015年修订的《仲裁与调解法》将上述两条中的“违反公共政策”这一术语进行了进一步解释,认为违反公共政策有3种情形:(1)仲裁裁决在欺诈或腐败的情况下做出;(2)仲裁裁决存在明显违反印度法律基本原则和政策的情况;(3)仲裁裁决与基本的道德或正义标准相冲突。《仲裁与调解法》第28条第3款规定“在决定和作出裁决时,仲裁庭在任何情况下均应考虑到合同条款和适用于该交易的贸易惯例”。就本案而言,仲裁庭对合同的曲解及无视既有的证据作出裁决,违反了第28条的规定,属于第34条第2种情形,即仲裁裁决违反印度法的基本原则。

当然,就第34条而言,尽管2015年修订的《仲裁与调解法》对公共政策标准及适用范围进行了进一步明确,但关于“基本原则和政策”和“基本的道德或正义标准”等法律术语并未有详细的限定,因此在事件中可能仍需法官自由裁量。