The judgment delivered by the High Court of Delhi in the case of Dharamvir & Company vs/s Delhi Development Authority & Anr; FAO (COMM) 115/2023, revolves around an appeal filed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The appellant, Dharamvir & Company, challenged an arbitral award concerning disputes arising from a contract with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for repair works in Paschim Vihar.
The disputes between the parties stemmed from the delay in completing the works, which the appellant attributed to the DDA. Dharamvir & Company claimed compensation for the delay and also alleged that the DDA wrongfully withheld a sum from the amount payable. While the delay was acknowledged to be caused by the DDA, the Arbitral Tribunal rejected the Appellant’s claim for damages on the grounds that they had failed to plead and substantiate the actual loss suffered as a result of the delay.
The Hon’ble Court, in its judgment, emphasized that in cases where delays are caused by the employer, contractors seeking damages must not only demonstrate that the delay was attributable to the employer but also provide clear evidence of the losses incurred as a direct result of the delay. Mere delay alone is not sufficient to warrant damages; the contractor must establish a causal link between the delay and the quantifiable losses suffered.
The Court also noted that while the delay in the execution of the work was attributed to the DDA, the same would not entitle the appellant to claim damages unless it pleads and proves that such delay resulted in loss to it.
Ultimately, the Hon’ble Court dismissed the application on the ground that no ground for interference was made out under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
In conclusion, the judgment underscores the importance of Contractors to meticulously plead and prove the actual financial impact of delays caused by the employer to successfully claim damages in arbitration or court proceedings.

Author of this article:
Adv. Ravish Bhatt,
Partner, R&D Law Chambers,
Dual Qualified Lawyer Solicitor | International Tax Affiliate

Connect with Mr. Bhatt on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adit-ravishbhatt/

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