New Delhi based law firm, Kachwaha and Partners has won three arbitration awards for leading road construction companies against NHAI in a short span of one year.

The disputes arose out of Contracts for Four Laning in the State of Gujarat on DBFOT basis and construction of Chambal Bridge in the State of Rajasthan / Madhya Pradesh on EPC basis.

The awards are upwards of Rs.1100 crores plus interest in favour of a Malaysian company that undertook the road project in Gujarat and Rs. 340 crores plus interest in favour of the other contractor. Senior Partner, Mr. Dharmendra Rautray (Barrister-at-Law, Lincoln’s Inn, (London)), successfully argued the matters and was assisted by Partner, Ms. Tara Shahani. Mr. Rautray handled the DBFOT matter right from the initial stages of disputes which arose during the tolling operations till termination of the contract. Having advised the clients at a very early stage including vetting / drafting of correspondence, Mr. Rautray was able to accordingly strategise and argue the matter more effectively.

The DBFOT Project included development of an existing road by 4-laning on the Jetpur-Somnath section on a stretch of 123.490 kms in the State of Gujarat. The Award rendered on 31.3.2021 awarded an amount of Rs. 1100 crores plus interest and costs of arbitration in favour of the Contractor.

The Firm was also successful in obtaining relief in the form of determination of liability towards payment of Termination Payment in a separate arbitration proceeding initiated along with the Lender Banks against NHAI before a three-member Tribunal. The unanimous Award was rendered on 24.3.2020.

In the Chambal Bridge Project, the dispute was in relation to four laning of Km 51.00 to Km 61.00 (including construction of New Bridge on River Chambal) on Dholpur – Morena Section of NH-3 on North-South Corridor in the States of Rajasthan / Madhya Pradesh. The nature of claims raised by the Contractor included overhead charges and PME expenses incurred during the extended period. The Award rendered on 31st December, 2021 awarded Rs. 340,52,00,000 plus interest along with costs amounting to Rs. 1,27,00,000 in favour of the Client.

The awards come as a huge relief to other major construction players and lending institutions that are investing in such projects and suffer long delays and financial stress due to issues such as land acquisition, obtaining environmental clearances and shifting of utilities.

Mr. Dharmendra Rautray can be contacted at / Mobile No: +91 9899988878

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