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While hearing petitions under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the Delhi High Court directed a wind-power generator company and its contractor to maintain status quo with respect to continued power generation and evacuation of power till the next date of hearing. (Vanilla Clean Power Pvt Ltd vs M/S Inox Wind Infrastructure Services)
The order was passed by a single Judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna in petitions by M/S Vanilla Clean Power Pvt Ltd and M/S Ivy Ecoenergy India Pvt Ltd (Petitioner).
The Petitioner and Respondent, M/S Inox Wind Infrastructure Services Ltd had executed a Mutual Termination Agreement to terminate their existing Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Agreements.
Further, the parties simultaneously executed an agreement for O&M services for limited and specific purposes of continuing to operate and maintain the shared services and common infrastructure.
Subsequently, the vendor of the Respondent allegedly entered the wind park and demanded the employees of the Respondent to switch off the interconnecting feeders connecting the Wind Turbine Generators of the Power Generation Plant to the Pooling Substation. Thereby, bringing the generation and evacuation of power from the Power Generation Plant to a standstill.
The Petitioner argued that as per notification dated March 23, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, power generation, transmission and distribution units and services were ‘essential services’ and on March 25, 2020 the Ministry of Power by way of its notification also recognised power generation as an ‘essential service’.
It was stated that the Respondent probably had some issue of non-payment of some charges etc. However, the Petitioner asserted that it had already paid an amount of Rs.3.12 Crores to the Respondent as also to its vendors. The Petitioner added that as per the Agreement for Operation and Maintenance Services, due to allegations of non-payment of charges the contract could not be given go-by.
Finally, on April 12, the Respondent switched off the interconnecting feeders connecting the Wind Turbine Generators of the Power Generation Plant belonging to the Petitioner to the Pooling Substation. This, the Petitioner stated, brought the generation and evacuation of power from the Power Generation Plant to a standstill.
The Petitioner informed that an FIR was lodged against the conduct of the Respondent and subsequently, the Petitioner on its own switched on the inter connecting feeder line in order to operationalise the power generation and evacuation, but again it was switched off by the Respondent, forcing the Petitioner to move the High Court.
After hearing the Petitioner, the Court issued notice and granted eight weeks to the Respondent to file a reply.
Meanwhile, the Respondent stated that the inter connecting feeder lines of the Wind Turbine Generator and power generation to the pooling substation have been switched on with effect from April 17, 2020 and shall not be switched off till further orders.
The Court thus directed the parties to maintain the status quo to continue the power generation and evacuation of power till the next date of hearing.
The matter would be heard next by the roster bench on July 14.
Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar with Advcates Rupesh Gupta, Nikhil Kohli, Ritika Kohli represented by Petitioner.
The Respondent was represented by Advocate Sahil Chopra.
Read the Order: