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Supplier V. Jewellery Shop Owner

Date of Claim raised: 22/02/2023
Date of Conciliation: 14/03/2023
Date of Settlement: 14/03/2023
Digest: Mediation/Conciliation/Dispute/Claimant/Respondent/Invoice/Settlement
Case Summary

In the vibrant city of Mumbai, known as the commercial and cultural hub of India, a prestigious dispute unfolded between two prominent entities in the world of jewellery and luxury items. The Claimant, a renowned supplier based in Mumbai, held an esteemed reputation for their exquisite craftsmanship and unwavering commitment to quality. Their exceptional jewellery and ornamental pieces adorned the showcases of esteemed jewellers across the country, captivating the discerning tastes of a sophisticated clientele.

On the other side of the dispute stood the Respondent, a prominent jewellery store owner renowned for their exclusive collections and glamorous showrooms. With a reputation built on trust and a discerning eye for exceptional craftsmanship, the Respondent had established themselves as a destination for connoisseurs seeking the epitome of luxury.

However, amidst the glittering world of jewels and precious metals, a dispute arose over the nonpayment of a significant amount by the Respondent to the Claimant. The disputed amount of Rs. 2,50,405/- served as a catalyst for an unexpected rupture in the otherwise harmonious business relationship between these two prominent entities.

As the case reached an impasse, both parties recognized the need for a fair and impartial resolution. They turned to PrivateCourt, an esteemed ADR platform, to seek a settlement.

The Issue

The dispute between the Claimant and the Respondent arose from the Respondent's refusal to pay the invoiced amount for the supplied jewellery and ornaments. The Claimant contended that they had fulfilled their contractual obligations by delivering the agreed-upon products to the Respondent. The jewellery and ornaments were carefully crafted, adhering to the specifications and quality standards previously agreed upon. The Claimant had maintained a solid track record of providing exceptional merchandise to their clients, including the Respondent.

However, the Respondent disputed the quality and authenticity of the supplied items. They alleged that the jewellery and ornaments did not meet the agreed specifications and exhibited flaws that were not apparent during the initial inspection. The Respondent contended that the discrepancies in the billing were indicative of overcharging and demanded a reduction in the invoiced amount.

In response, the Claimant vehemently defended the quality of the supplied goods. They emphasised that the products were meticulously crafted and of superior quality, meeting the industry standards and the Respondent's expectations. The Claimant highlighted that the Respondent had initially accepted the goods without raising any objections and only expressed dissatisfaction upon receiving the invoice.

Apart from the quality and billing discrepancies, there were two additional reasons that contributed to the dispute between the Claimant and the Respondent.

a) Delayed Delivery: The Respondent claimed that the Claimant failed to adhere to the agreed delivery schedule, resulting in delayed receipt of the jewellery and ornaments. The Respondent argued that this delay caused disruptions in their inventory management and led to missed sales opportunities. They contended that the Claimant's inability to meet the delivery deadlines was a breach of contract, and therefore, they were entitled to withhold payment or seek compensation for the resulting losses.

In response, the Claimant acknowledged that there were instances of slight delays in delivery, primarily due to unforeseen circumstances such as transportation issues and supplier constraints. However, they maintained that these delays were minimal and did not significantly impact the Respondent's operations. The Claimant argued that any delays were communicated promptly to the Respondent, and they made reasonable efforts to rectify the situation and fulfill their obligations.

b) Disputed Specifications: Another point of contention between the parties was the disagreement over the specifications of the supplied jewellery and ornaments. The Respondent alleged that the products deviated from the agreed-upon design, size, or material, resulting in an unsatisfactory final product. They claimed that the deviations compromised the marketability and value of the items and, therefore, justified a reduction in the invoiced amount.

In contrast, the Claimant asserted that they meticulously followed the specifications provided by the Respondent. They argued that any perceived deviations might have been subjective or attributed to the inherent nature of handmade or artisanal products. The Claimant maintained that they took utmost care to ensure that the products met the desired specifications and quality standards, and any discrepancies were within acceptable industry tolerances.

The PrivateCourt Proceedings:

Upon receiving the case, the PrivateCourt team promptly initiated the necessary proceedings. A formal notice was sent to both the Claimant and the Respondent, outlining the Conciliation process and requesting the submission of relevant documents. The notice informed the parties about the scheduled Conciliation via Zoom and audio conference calls, as per the guidelines provided.

Both the Claimant and the Respondent duly responded to the notice and promptly provided the requested documents to PrivateCourt. The PrivateCourt team meticulously reviewed the submissions, aiming to gain a comprehensive understanding of the dispute and identify potential solutions.

The Lead Sole Conciliator from PrivateCourt diligently analysed the documentation and evidence presented by both parties. They followed the protocol and ensured that the proceedings were conducted in a fair and impartial manner, adhering to the principles of justice. The Conciliator, having thoroughly examined the case, was prepared to facilitate a productive discussion during the scheduled Conciliation session.

However, before the scheduled session could take place, the Respondent informed PrivateCourt that positive discussions had transpired between the parties regarding the amicable settlement of the dispute. The Claimant and the Respondent had engaged in constructive dialogue, expressing a mutual desire to resolve the matter and restore their business relationship.

The Settlement Agreement:

Considering the positive discussions and the shared commitment to resolving the dispute, a comprehensive settlement agreement was drafted by PrivateCourt. The settlement agreement aimed to provide a mutually acceptable resolution for both the Claimant and the Respondent. According to the terms of the settlement agreement, the Respondent agreed to pay the disputed amount of Rs. 2,50,405/-. The payment was to be made in two instalments.

  • The Respondent committed to issuing a cheque for Rs. 25,000/- on or before 20th April 2023 as a gesture of goodwill.
  • The remaining amount of Rs. 2,25,405/- was to be paid by the Respondent to the Claimant on or before 15th June 2023.

The settlement agreement also included a clause addressing any potential future claims or disputes arising from the agreement itself. It stipulated that any such disputes would be resolved through e-arbitration, in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by PrivateCourt.

The Inference:

This case study highlights the effectiveness of ADR methods, particularly through the involvement of PrivateCourt. The dispute between the Claimant and the Respondent, stemming from nonpayment of a significant amount, was successfully resolved through Conciliation facilitated by PrivateCourt.