India: Delhi High Court Rules That One Cannot Say That An Arbitration Clause Is Of No Consequence During A Dispute

Last Updated: 7 March 2018
Article by S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates

The Delhi High Court on September 15, 2017 passed a judgement in the case Uday Chand Jindal v. Galgotia Publications Pvt. Ltd.1, holding that when a party has signed an agreement which includes an arbitration clause then, during any dispute, the party cannot say that the arbitration clause is of no consequence in respect of grievance towards any of the clauses of the agreement.

Brief Facts of the case and proceedings before the Copyright Board:

  • The Appellant claimed to be the author of several books and had given some of those books to the Respondent for publication. It is the claim of the Appellant that the Respondent fraudulently ripped certain chapters from the book "Engineering Mechanics (UPTU) by U. C. Jindal" and bound those with another book without permission from the author. The Appellant further claimed that the Respondent also re-printed the Appellant's books but never paid any royalty to him despite various reminders.
  • The matter was first presented before the Copyright Board by the Appellant, wherein the Respondent submitted that there was no assignment in terms of Section 19 of the Copyright Act, 1957. The Respondent further submitted before the Copyright Board that there was an arbitration clause in the agreement entered between the parties for the books and therefore, any dispute qua those books is liable to be adjudicated by an arbitrator through the process of arbitration and not the Copyright Board. The Appellant asserted that the work titled "Mechanical Engineering UPTU" without any permission is in violation of the author's special right provided under section 57(b) of the Copyright Act and that the arbitration clause was only with regard to interpretation or enforcement of the agreement and not in the case of revocation and only the Copyright Board had the statutory powers in that regard.
  • The Copyright Board, on the point of arbitration clause, held that the petitioner (Appellant herein) has failed to prove that the terms of the agreement with the Respondent are harsh and therefore, the remedy under the arbitration clause in the agreements lies with the arbitrator. So far as the jurisdiction for remedy for breach of moral rights under Section 57(1) (b), the Copyright Board held that the same does not lie with the Board.
  • Aggrieved by the above order of the Copyright Board, the Appellant preferred the present appeal before the Delhi High Court.

Appellant's Submissions:

The Appellant, i.e., Mr. Uday Chand Jindal contended that the order of the Copyright Board must be set-aside, and made the following submissions:

1. That although there was an arbitration clause in the agreement, the appellant had filed the petition before the Copyright Board for seeking relief with regard to the harshness of one of the clauses of the agreement, which according to the appellant should have been heard and decided by the Copyright Board, but the Board had dismissed the petition by referring the parties to arbitration only. The said Clause of the agreement is reproduced herein below:

"The author agrees that he will not during the continuance of the agreement without the written consent of the publisher write, print or publish or cause to be written, printed or published, any other edition of the work, revised, enlarged, abridged, adapted, or otherwise, or any book of a character that might interfere with or inure the sale of the work."

2. Reliance was placed on Sukanya Holdings Pvt. Ltd. v. Jayesh H. Pandya2, wherein provisions of Section 5, 8 and 11 were referred:

"Section 5. Extent of judicial intervention.

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, in matters governed by this Part, no judicial authority shall intervene except where so provided in this Part.

Section 8. Power to refer parties to arbitration where there is an arbitration agreement. (1) A judicial authority before which an action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement shall, if a party so applies not later than when submitting his first statement on the substance of the dispute, refer the parties to arbitration.

(2) The application referred to in sub-section (1) shall not be entertained unless it is accompanied by the original arbitration agreement or a duly certified copy thereof.

(3) Notwithstanding that an application has been made under sub-section (1) and that the issue is pending before the judicial authority, an arbitration may be commenced or continued and an arbitral award made."

3. That despite there being an arbitration agreement, the Respondent had not filed an application under Section 8 and 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, for referring the dispute to the Arbitrator in a pending proceeding, but had chosen to contest the matter by filing its written statement to the appellant's petition. Therefore, as per the appellant, the respondent has waived its right under Section 4 of the Arbitration Act for referring the dispute to the Arbitrator.

Respondent's Submissions:

The counsel for the Respondent, i.e., Galgotia Publications Pvt. Ltd., refuting the assertions made by the Appellant, made the following submissions

  • That there is a specific arbitration clause 19 in the memorandum of agreement entered into between the parties with respect to settlement of any dispute by way of arbitration. Thus, any dispute arising between the parties was to be settled by way of arbitration alone. Clause 19 of the said Memorandum of Agreement is reproduced herein below:
    "All differences or disputes arising out of or in connection with the interpretation or enforcement of this agreement shall be settled by arbitration in Delhi and will be subject thereto the Courts in Delhi in accordance with the Indian Arbitration Act."
  • Reliance was also placed by the Respondent on HDFC Bank Ltd. v. Satpal Singh Bakshi3 wherein it was held that for determination of disputes the State does provide the medium of alternate forums, but while doing so, it recognizes that it is not the only means for determination of the resolution of conflicts between the parties. The parties are given the freedom to choose a forum, alternate to and in place of regular court or judicial system for decision of their inter se disputes. Therefore, even when the matter is pending in the court, parties to the dispute are given freedom to resort to conciliation, mediation and also arbitration.

Decision of the Delhi High Court:

On consideration of the submissions and case laws filed by the parties, the Delhi High Court held that, as regards the claim of royalty, the money or claim itself of the Appellant is on the basis of the agreement entered between the parties and the same is the subject matter of the dispute, which could be resolved only in the arbitration proceedings. The court further held that since both parties had expressly agreed to the said arbitration clause, the Appellant cannot be permitted to say that the arbitration clause was of no consequence in respect of the grievance towards any clause of the agreement including its harshness, if any. That, alone, would defeat the very effect of the said arbitration clause which was mutually acceptable between the parties. Thus, the Delhi High Court dismissed the appeal.


1 RFA No. 8 of 2009 Reported in 2017 (72) PTC 492 (Del.)

2 (2003) 5 SCC 531.

3 (2012) 193 DLT 203

For further information please contact at S.S Rana & Co. email: or call at (+91- 11 4012 3000). Our website can be accessed at

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Practice Guides
by Mondaq Advice Centres
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions