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来源:临时仲裁ADA发布时间:2019-04-28 17:03:24

2019年4月16日,在Bharat Broadb and Network Limited v. United TelecomsLimited一案中(判决请见:阅读原文),仲裁一方当事人请求法院撤销由当事一方指定的仲裁员作出的仲裁裁决,被新德里高等法院驳回,再向印度最高法院提出上诉,对此,印度最高院作出认定:由于本案独任仲裁员Shri Khan在法律上无法履行其职责,应当终止其委任,故同意该上诉请求,撤销一审判决;高等法院经当事双方同意,可指定一名替代仲裁员(“We thus allow the appeals and set aside the impugned judgment. The mandate of Shri Khan having terminated, as he has become de jure unable to perform his function as an arbitrator, the High Court may appoint a substitute arbitrator with the consent of both the parties.”)。

一、案情介绍

2013年8月5日,本案上诉人Bharat Broadb and Network Ltd.(以下简称“上诉人”)就太阳能设备的统包工程招标,被上诉人United Telecoms Ltd.(以下简称“被上诉人”)中标。2014年9月30日,上诉人正式发出预购单(Advance Purchase Order),其中“合同一般条件”(General (Commercial)Conditions of Contract)中第III.20.1条约定了仲裁条款:

任何与本协议引起的或与其有关的任何问题、争议和分歧(除本协议特别约定的事项除外),应提交至由上诉人公司的董事长兼总经理(Chairman and Managing Director,以下简称“CMD”)担任独任仲裁员的仲裁解决,如果该人员发生变更或职位被取消,则由当时履行相似职能(除其本身职责或其他职责外)的职员担任独任仲裁员,或以任何方式委任该人员(以下简称“上述人员”),如果CMD或上述人员不能或不愿意担任该责任,则可有CMD或上述人员委任其他人员作为独任仲裁员…(“III.20 ARBITRATION III.20.1 In the event of any question, dispute or difference arising under the agreement or in connection therewith (except as to the matters, the decision to which is specifically provided under this agreement), the same shall be referred to the sole arbitration of the CMD, BBNL or in case his designation is changed or his office is abolished, then in such cases to the sole arbitration of the officer for the time being entrusted (whether in addition to his own duties or otherwise) with the functions of the CMD, BBNL or by whatever designation such an officer may be called (hereinafter referred to as the said officer), and if the CMD or the said officer is unable or willing to act as such, then to the sole arbitration of some other person appointed by the CMD or the said officer.The agreement to appoint an arbitrator will be in accordance with the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996…”)。

后双方发生争议,2017年1月3日,被上诉人根据上述仲裁条款请求上诉人CMD指定一名独立且公正的仲裁员审理争议。2017年1月17,上诉人CMD指定Shri K.H. Khan为独任仲裁员。

2017年7月3日,印度最高院在TRF Ltd. v. Energo Engineering Projects Ltd., (2017) 8SCC 377 [TRF Ltd.](以下简称“TRF案”)一案中明确提出,由于作为仲裁一方的公司的董事本人没有资格担任仲裁员,因此该不具资格人员不能委任仲裁员,而任何该等委任均须视为无效(“held that since a Managing Director of a company which was one of the parties to the arbitration, was himself ineligible to act as arbitrator, such ineligible person could not appoint an arbitrator, and any such appointment would have to be held to be null and void.”)。据此,上诉人作为委任独任仲裁员一方,主张根据该判决此前的仲裁员委任无效,其应当退出仲裁程序并由高等法院再指定一名替代仲裁员,但最终被独任仲裁员驳回。

2017年10月28日,上诉人又向新德里高等法院提出申请,请求撤换该名仲裁员。2017年11月22日,高等法院作出判决驳回该申请,理由是委任一方不得在参与程序后又提出针对其委任仲裁员的异议。具体而言,根据第12(5)条的但书,由于上诉人负责委任了独任仲裁员,而被申请人也毫无保留提交了书面主张陈述书,构成一份明确的书面协议,因此构成对第12(5)条适用的弃权(“stating that the very person who appointed the arbitrator is estopped from raising a plea that such arbitrator cannot be appointed after participating in the proceedings. In any event, under the proviso to Section12(5) of the Act, inasmuch as the appellant itself has appointed Shri Khan, and the respondent has filed a statement of claim without any reservation, also inwriting, the same would amount to an express agreement in writing, which would,therefore, amount to a waiver of the applicability of Section 12(5) of the Act.”)。

上诉人不服该判决,向印度最高院提出上诉。

二、印度最高法院的认定

(一)关于相关判例的适用

本案中,印度最高院在作出最终认定前,重点援引了由最高院作出的与本案有关的三个判例:根据判例In Voestalpine Schienen GmbH v. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., (2017) 4 SCC 665,如果仲裁员是一方当事人公司管理部门的经理、董事或其他职员,该人应被视为不具有履行仲裁员职能的能力,如果其附属机构直接参与仲裁中的争议事项,则该人在一方当事人的附属机构中具有单一的影响力和控制力(“Likewise, that person is treated as incompetent to perform the role of arbitrator, who is a manager, director or part of the management or has a single controlling influence in an affiliate of one of the parties if the affiliate is directly involved in the matters in dispute in the arbitration.”);根据判例HRD Corporation v. GAIL(India) Ltd., (2018) 12 SCC 471,由于委任的源头是不具有相应资质的,结合第12(5)条和附表7的规定,如果仲裁员属于附表7所指明的任何类别之一,他便不具有担任仲裁员的资格(“Since ineligibility goes tothe root of the appointment, Section 12(5) read with the Seventh Schedule makes it clear that if the arbitrator falls in any one of the categories specified in the Seventh Schedule, he becomes ineligible to act as arbitrator.”);根据判例“TRF案”,法院仅关注总经理的职权问题,且有义务得出结论:一旦仲裁员因法律的施行而丧失资格,他就不能提名另一名仲裁员担任仲裁员。根据仲裁法第12(5)条规定,相关仲裁员不符合相应的资格(“We are only concerned with the authority or the power of the Managing Director. By our analysis, we are obligated to arrive at the conclusion that once the arbitrator has become ineligible by operation of law, he cannot nominate another as an arbitrator.The arbitrator becomes ineligible as per prescription contained in Section12(5) of the Act.”)。

最高院提出,由于本案的案情同TRF案较为相似,都适用新修订的《仲裁与调解法》,因此本案的相关考量须参考TRF案的结论(“The APO itself is of theyear 2014, whereas the appointment by the Managing Director is after the Amendment Act, 2015, just as in the case of TRF Ltd. (supra). Considering that the appointment in the case of TRF Ltd. (supra) of a retired Judge of this Court was set aside as being non-est in law, the appointment of Shri Khan in the present case must follow suit.”)。

(二)关于第12(5)条的解释和适用

新修订《仲裁与调解法》第12(5)条规定,即使事先有相反的协议,凡与当事人或律师或争议标的的关系属附表7所指明的任何类别的个人,均无资格获委任为仲裁员:但在争议发生后,各方可藉书面约定明确放弃适用本条规定(“(5) Notwithstanding any prior agreement to the contrary, any person whose relationship, with the parties or counsel or the subject-matter of the dispute, falls under any of the categories specified in the Seventh Schedule shall be ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator: Provided that parties may, subsequent to disputes having arisen between them, waive the applicabilityof this sub-section by an express agreement in writing.”)。

关于第12(5)条但书,最高院提出,根据当事人之间的协议,凡某人属于附表7所列的任何类别,他在法律上是没有资格获委任为仲裁员的。在法律上,消除这一不符合资格的唯一途径是,当事各方在发生争议后,可通过书面明确协议放弃本款的适用性(“What is clear, therefore, is that where, under any agreement between the parties, a person falls within any of the categories set out in the Seventh Schedule, he is, as a matter of law, ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator. The only way in which this ineligibility can be removed, again, in law, is that parties may after disputes have arisen between them, waive the applicability of this sub-section by an express agreement in writing.”)。

关于第12(5)条的但书是否适用于本案的问题,根据相关法律规定,第12(5)条的但书只适用于在当事方之间发生争端之后,当事各方以书面明确协议放弃适用第12(5)条的情形(“Unlike Section 4 of the Act which deals with deemed waiver of the right to object by conduct, the proviso to Section 12(5) will only apply if subsequent to disputes having arisen between the parties, the parties waive the applicability of sub-section (5) of Section 12 by an express agreement inwriting.”),但在本案中,当事一方虽然向仲裁员提交了一份陈述书,并不意味着在口头上达成了明确的协议,即明确表明尽管不具有相应资质,但双方都希望Shri Khan继续担任仲裁员(“Equally, the fact that a statement of claim may have been filed before the arbitrator, would not mean that there is an express agreement in words which would make it clear that both parties wish Shri Khan to continue as arbitrator despite being ineligible to act as such.”),故本案并不适用第12(5)条的但书规定。

综上所述,由于本案独任仲裁员Shri Khan在法律上无法履行其职责,应当终止其委任,故同意该上诉请求,撤销一审判决;高等法院经当事双方同意,可指定一名替代仲裁员(“We thus allow the appeals and set aside the impugned judgment. The mandate of Shri Khan having terminated, as he has become de jure unable to perform his function as an arbitrator, the High Court may appoint a substitute arbitrator with the consent of both the parties.”)。

三、评论

在本案关于相关法律适用的论述中,印度最高院提出,仲裁法第12(5)条所对应的“附表7”款项来源于《国际律师协会国际仲裁利益冲突指引》(即IBA冲突指引)中的相关规定,具体而言,属于“橙色清单”(OrangeList)中可对仲裁员独立性和公正性提出合理怀疑的情形。由于本案中由当事一方成员担任仲裁员的约定明显符合“附表7”规定情形,且印度最高法已在判例中明确认定该种情形不合法,故结合本案案情和相应的法律规定,最终得出结论,该种约定下委任的仲裁员不具有相应的资质,应被法院撤换。

(责任编辑:买园园)
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