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Indian Case Summary

Ingram Micro India Pvt. Ltd vs Mohit Raghuram Hegde on 13 June, 2022 – Case Summary

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In the case of Ingram Micro India Pvt. Ltd. vs Mohit Raghuram Hegde, adjudicated in the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, the court was tasked with resolving a commercial dispute involving the supply of computer products and communication devices. The case was heard under the Commercial Arbitration Application No. 235 of 2021, with the judgment pronounced on August 30, 2022.

Facts of the Case

Ingram Micro India Pvt. Ltd., the applicant, is a leading distributor of computer products, communication devices, and other hardware and software products. The respondent, Mohit Raghuram Hegde, is the proprietor of Creative Infotech, a business also engaged in the IT hardware and software products sector. The applicant contended that disputes and differences had arisen between the parties concerning the non-payment of the applicant’s dues under various invoices issued by the applicant to the respondent.

The applicant argued that an arbitration agreement was contained in the “Sales terms and conditions” accepted by the respondent, available on the applicant’s website. The applicant also claimed that an arbitration clause was contained in the invoices raised by the applicant upon the respondent, which were stated to have been accepted and acted upon.

Issues

The respondent disputed the existence of an arbitration agreement between the parties. The respondent contended that the purchase orders and the invoices relied upon by the applicant to plead the existence of an arbitration agreement were not issued or signed by the respondent. The respondent also argued that the transactions reflected in these documents were not actual transactions between the applicant and the respondent but were brought about by the fraudulent actions of employees from both sides.

Court’s Observations

The court noted that the invoices raised by the applicant on the respondent provided for arbitration. The terms and conditions printed on the invoice stated that the courts in Mumbai shall have exclusive jurisdiction and further stated that an arbitrator shall be appointed by the applicant and the arbitration shall be conducted as per the provisions of the Act. Therefore, the court was satisfied that there was an arbitration agreement as covered by the invoices.

The court also observed that the respondent had issued a cheque to the applicant for an amount of Rs.2,48,40,003/- drawn on the Syndicate Bank, which was dishonoured for want of funds. The court noted that the respondent had not disputed the issuance of the cheque in question.

Conclusion

The court concluded that there were subsisting disputes between the parties that required resolution through arbitral adjudication. The court found that the disputes had arisen under the unpaid invoices, which had been received, acknowledged, and acted upon by the respondent. The court also found that the invoice contained the terms of supply as made to the respondent, as well as the Sales terms and conditions under it, which provided that all the disputes be resolved through arbitration.

The court, therefore, held that there was a valid arbitration agreement between the parties and that the disputes between the parties should be referred to arbitration. The court further held that the respondent’s contentions regarding fraud could be considered by the arbitral tribunal during the arbitration proceedings.