The Delhi HC, in the case of New Delhi Municipal Council v. Decor India Pvt Ltd., observed that “Though it is permissible to introduce an amendment in a petition filed under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (A&C Act), however, new grounds of challenge containing new material/ facts cannot be introduced when the said grounds were neither raised in the original petition under Section 34 nor before the Arbitral Tribunal.”
There was a dispute between, New Delhi Municipal Council (Petitioner) and, Decor India Pvt Ltd ( respondent) under an agreement, which was referred to arbitration. Decor India was accused under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) (Cheating) and under Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (criminal misconduct) and was found guilty by the Special Judge – Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi. The petitioner though challenged the arbitral award before the Delhi HC. They sought the inclusion of additional ground to challenge the award.
The Delhi HC, while relying on the judgements given in cases of State of Maharashtra vs. Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd and Prakash Industries Limited vs. Bengal Energy Ltd & Anr., observed “Bearing in mind the aforesaid principles that have been enunciated in the aforenoted two decisions and when this Court tests the proposed amendments on that pedestal, it finds that the ground which is proposed to be introduced is clearly a new case which has no foundation in the original petition.