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Imax Corporation v. M/S E-City Entertainment Corp. 2017 SCC OnLine SC 239


  • Whether awards passed outside India, be challenged in Indian Courts?


  • The parties expressly agreed that the arbitration will be conducted outside India, Part II of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is excluded and, hence cannot be challenged in Indian Courts.


  • Under a Master Agreement (the Contract), IMAX, a Canadian company that specializes in the projection of big format films, leased six Projection Systems to E-City in India in 2000, and any disputes arising out of this Master Agreement or relating to the rights, obligations, or liabilities of E-City or IMAX thereunder shall be finally resolved by arbitration by the ICC Rules of Arbitration, as stated in the dispute resolution clause of the Contract
  • Both the location and the applicable law for the arbitration agreement were not chosen. The Secretariat to the International Commercial Court of Arbitration (ICC) indicated to the parties that because the Contract did not identify a venue or seat for arbitration, London was recommended as the seat of arbitration.
  • The arbitration resulted in a Partial Final Award on Liability in favour of Imax Ltd and interest and costs in February 2006 when issues occurred between the parties.
  • E-City filed a lawsuit in Mumbai, India in 2009 to contest the ICC awards. The Bombay High Court in India ruled that Indian law applies to the parties’ disagreement and that India is the proper jurisdiction to hear the parties’ challenge to the arbitration judgment.
  • The Appellants approached the Supreme Court.


  • The Hon’ble Apex Court held that due to the Parties’ exclusion of the application of Part II of the Act through their selection of the ICC Rules and their decision to have the arbitration take place in London following consultation with the Parties conducted by the ICC Court of Arbitration, the plea to challenge to the ICC Awards rendered in London was not maintainable in India.
  • The Court held that the two reasons for Part II not being applicable were (i) Parties agreed that the seat may be outside India as may be fixed by the ICC, and (ii) It was admitted that the seat of arbitration was London and the award was made there.
  • As a result, the Court dismissed the petition as being maintainable in India and accepted the IMAX appeal.