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Non Govt. Pvt. Finance Company V Milk Dairy Owner

Case Number: PVTCRT/CD/Pvt. Finance Company V Milk Dairy Owner
Date of Claim raised: 10/08/2023
Date of Conciliation: 21/08/2023
Date of Settlement: 21/08/2023
Digest: Mediation/Conciliation/Dispute/Claimant/Respondent/Invoice/Settlement
Case Summary

In a recent dispute, the Claimant, a Non-government Finance company registered in Jammu, found themselves at odds with the Respondent, a dairy owner hailing from Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The bone of contention was a disputed amount of Rs. 50,000, owed by the Respondent to the Claimant. After unsuccessful attempts at resolution, both parties turned to PrivateCourt, a trusted platform for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), to seek an amicable settlement. The dispute that brought the Claimant and the Respondent to PrivateCourt's doorstep was a complex web of financial disagreements and communication breakdowns.

The Issue

The dispute was multifaceted, involving allegations of non-payment, disputes over the amount owed, communication breakdowns, and considerations of financial hardship. These four intertwined issues created a complex legal puzzle that required a skilled and impartial mediator, which PrivateCourt aimed to be in their role as the conciliator.

Delving deeper into the issue reveals four critical reasons for the dispute:

  • Non-Payment Allegation: At the heart of the dispute lay the Claimant's assertion that the Respondent had failed to honor a financial commitment. According to their initial agreement, the Respondent was obligated to pay a substantial sum of Rs. 50,000 to the Claimant. However, the Claimant contended that the payment had not been made, despite repeated reminders and demands. This allegation formed the core of the Claimant's case, asserting that the Respondent had defaulted on their financial obligation.
  • Payment Discrepancy: The Respondent, on the other hand, vehemently disputed the Claimant's version of events. They argued that while they acknowledged the debt, there was a significant discrepancy in the amount owed. The Respondent claimed to have made partial payments, disputing the precise sum remaining unpaid. This disagreement over the exact amount owed added a layer of complexity to the dispute, as both parties had differing interpretations of their financial transactions.
  • Communication Breakdown: A contributing factor to the dispute was a breakdown in communication between the parties. Both the Claimant and the Respondent cited instances of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and a lack of clarity in their previous agreements. This communication gap had led to confusion about payment terms, timelines, and expectations, further exacerbating the dispute.
  • Financial Hardship: The Respondent brought another dimension to the dispute by citing financial hardship as a reason for payment delays. They contended that unforeseen economic challenges had made it difficult to adhere to the original payment schedule. The Claimant, however, maintained that the Respondent should have communicated their difficulties earlier and sought an amendment to the agreement if necessary.
The PrivateCourt Proceedings

PrivateCourt stepped in as the neutral party to facilitate the resolution process. Their approach included:

  • Sending formal notices to both parties, outlining the dispute and the conciliation process.
  • Requesting documents and evidence from both sides to better understand the case.
  • Vetting the information provided for accuracy and completeness.
  • Following a well-established protocol to ensure fair proceedings and maintain confidentiality.
  • Scheduling a conciliation meeting via Zoom and audio calls, ensuring both parties had an opportunity to voice their concerns.

To the surprise of many, during the conciliation meeting, the Respondent and Claimant engaged in a productive and constructive discussion. Both parties displayed a willingness to resolve the matter amicably, signaling a positive turn in the proceedings. The Respondent expressed their intent to honour their financial commitment.

The Settlement Agreement

On August 21, 2023, in accordance with Section 73 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, a Settlement Agreement was meticulously drafted and entered into. The key terms of the agreement stipulated that the Respondent would pay the outstanding sum of Rs. 50,000 to the Claimant, with a structured payment plan:

  • Rs. 25,000 to be paid on or before August 31, 2023.
  • Rs. 25,000 to be paid on or before September 30th, 2023.

The agreement also laid out provisions for resolving any potential future disputes through e-arbitration, following PrivateCourt's rules.

The Inference

In a surprising turn of events, what began as a contentious dispute evolved into a harmonious resolution. The willingness of both parties to engage in constructive dialogue during the PrivateCourt conciliation led to a mutually agreeable settlement. This case underscores the effectiveness of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods, highlighting that even seemingly insurmountable financial disputes can be resolved through open communication and the guidance of a skilled conciliator.