Whether the principle of “Res Judicata” applies to proceedings under Sec. 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996?
There can be no hard and fast Rule to answer this question particularly in Arbitration matters, but it is equally well founded by series of rulings that the same issue between the same parties which was decided earlier by Competent Court, cannot be re-decide in subsequent litigation between the same parties. Hon’ble Apex Court has held in case of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. V/s. SPS Engineering Ltd, [reported in 2011 (3) SCC 507] that the Arbitration Proceedings mainly depends upon the Contract between patties. If it transpires from the contract that there is no bar to claim extra cost, then the designate has no jurisdiction to dismiss the application filed under section-11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act to appoint Arbitrator on the ground that the claim for extra cost was barred by ‘Res Judicata’ even when the question of damages has been already decided by earlier Arbitration appointed for the same parties.