No HC relief for NHAI in arbitral award case

Private firm given relief of over ₹54 crore

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) challenging an arbitral award of over ₹54 crore granted in favour of PNC Infratech Ltd. for delay in the widening of National Highway-24 between Garhmukteshwar and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.

The NHAI and a joint venture of PNC Infratech Limited and Bhagheeratha Engineering Limited (BEL) had entered into an agreement in February 2005 for the project of widening and strengthening of NH-24 from 93 km to 149.25 km to four-lane standards (Garhmukteshwar to Moradabad), a road over-bridge, and bridges on NH-87 in Uttar Pradesh. BEL had later walked out of the project.

In its September 20, 2018, order the arbitral tribunal had found the NHAI guilty of causing delay in the execution of the work.

Project delay

PNC Infratech Limited had claimed that the delay in the execution of the work was caused due to the NHAI’s failure to give unhindered and unobstructed possession of the site for road work and structures.

The NHAI had claimed that PNC Infratech Limited had failed to discharge its responsibility and therefore could not have claimed that the State-run agency was at default for allegedly not giving unhindered access to the site.

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