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Shipping Company V. Manufacturing Business

Claim raised date: 20/07/2021
Conciliation date: 02/08/2021
Digest: Dispute/Invoice/Conciliation Hearing/Claimant/Respondent/Inference/Dispute

Brief facts giving rise to this dispute of Non-payment of the invoice: a dispute arose between the parties, who were having the relationship of buyer and seller, with the Claimant, a Private Limited Company engaged in the Shipping Business, being the seller, and the Respondent, engaged in Manufacturing Products, the buyer.

After a dispute arose between them, the parties agreed to settle the matter out of court through Conciliation. PrivateCourt played the role of a Sole Conciliator based on an agreement that the parties had reached for mediation mutually. Mumbai was the place of Conciliation as both parties were based there. The goal of the mediation was to help the parties avoid confusion and misappropriation of the disputed amount and to confirm future payment dates.

The Issue

The case was between a shipping company headquartered in Mumbai- the claimant and a manufacturing company based here again- the Respondent. The shipping company owns a fleet and operates in the Southeast Asian region. It generally operates in cargo shipments as container loads or as barges. The company, over a decade old, has created a trustworthy name in the marine transport industry. The respondent is a manufacturer of capital goods, mainly for exports and inter-port trades. Manufacturing machines and tools for the plastic industry, it has been exported to countries in Southeast Asia. Both the claimant and respondent have had business tie-ups and transactions for quite a while and seem to have never had any disputes and have handled business as a private limited in their nature of incorporation.

As a result of this longstanding business relationship, there was an accrued receivable from the respondent of Rs. 1, 45, 155/, which was informed to them by the claimant. A dispute arose when the respondent denied acceptance of this claim despite efforts to convince him with invoices and payment receipts thereof. The final negotiations between both parties ended in a stalemate, and the claimant approached PrivateCourt for mediation.

The Process

PrivateCourt reconciled all documentary evidence available to establish the authenticity of the claim. After scrutiny of Ledger accounts, Email conversation, Purchase orders, Outstanding invoices, Whatsapp chats and bank receipts submitted by both parties as evidence, PrivateCourt managed to set the first Conciliation Hearing as 02/08/2021. The process started with bridging gaps of understanding between the account teams of both parties. A signoff on the figures between these teams was achieved and presented to the respective business heads. As the process was documented, it was made clear to the respondent that the claim stands valid, and a penalty for nonpayment of @18% could be levied. However, considering the longstanding relationship between both parties, the claimant was keen to avoid such measures.

The Consent Terms
  • The Respondent agreed to pay the outstanding amount of Rs. 1,45,155/- by bank transfer to the Claimant's bank account on or before 31/12/2021.
  • Failure to pay within the above date would attract an 18% interest p.a. with a retrospective effect.

This case was peculiar because the respondent, in this case, was a valuable customer, and the claimant was keen to retain the business. Here PrivateCourt managed to settle the dispute amicably, handling the case with a stern but compassionate hand.