The UT Administration has failed to meet the deadline set by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for filing a response to a claim made by Parsvnath in the ongoing standoff between the company and the Administration over the Filmcity project. While appointing a second arbitrator,Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal had made it clear that after the initiation of arbitration proceedings,the company should file its claim within four weeks after which the UT Administration would file its counter claim within four weeks.
While the company has complied with the deadline and filed its claim of over Rs 50 crore (first reported by Newsline on June 24),the Administration is yet to file its response. Aggrieved,the company has filed a protest letter before the Arbitration Tribunal,demanding that the Administration should not be given the chance to file its response since it has failed to do the same within the stipulated period that ended on July 12.
Meanwhile,the Administration has changed two lawyers to contest the case against the company. Advocate Amar Vivek was the Administrations first counsel; and Newsline had reported on June 24 that he had given a legal opinion advising the Administration to file a counter claim of Rs 350 crore. Explaining the rationale behind filing the claim,Vivek had submitted: Had Parsvnath implemented the project two years ago,the costs of construction and establishing the project would have been much lower.
Vivek was replaced,for a brief period,by H S Sethi; but now,the Administration has engaged advocate A R Takkar. The Administration is in the process of finalising its reply and shall file it very soon, said Takkar.
In a bit to find out a solution for the tussle between the company and Administration,Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal had appointed Justice M R Agnihotri (retd) as the second arbitrator; Justice D P Wadhwa (retd) was the arbitrator already appointed by Parsvnath.
The chief justice had made it clear that the two arbitrators will jointly appoint a third arbitrator within six weeks. Also,to ensure that no delay is caused,Justice Mudgal had directed that after the two parties appear before the arbitrators on August 23,the arbitration award will be decided within a period of six months.
In response to the stand taken by the Administration that no arbitrator is needed in view of the termination of agreement between the Administration and the company,Justice Mudgal had ruled said an arbitrator was needed to resolve the dispute.