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  • In Balkrishna Spintex Pvt. Ltd. v. The New India Assurance Company Ltd, the Gujarat High Court held that once a party has signed the discharge voucher without any protest, it loses its entitlement.
  • A Single Judge Bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar noted that an arbitration application cannot be accepted merely on the ground that the party had contended that the said amount was received by it under duress, within 15 days from the receipt of an amount.
  • In this case, the petitioner obtained an insurance policy from the respondent to insure his factory. 
  • The petitioner raised an insurance claim which led to a dispute between the two parties with respect to the insurance claim raised by the petitioner under the policy. 
  • Subsequently, an application u/s 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (A&C Act) was filed by the petitioner before the Gujarat High Court for appointment of an arbitrator.
  • The respondent contended that after raising a claim under the insurance policy, the petitioner had received the money.
  • They further argued that after receiving the said money, a discharge voucher was executed by the petitioner in discharge of a full settlement and also issued a consent letter for the same.
  • The contention raised by the petitioner was that the insurance claim was raised after a fire broke out in its factory premises. 
  • The petitioner further contended that the respondent did not even pay the entire amount in the insurance claim.
  • The Hon'ble Court noted that a discharge voucher was executed by the petitioner at the time of receiving the amount raised under the insurance policy. 
  • The Court also noted that a consent letter was issued by the petitioner even before receiving the amount claimed and therefore, it had settled the insurance claim raised by it without any objections. 
  • The Court further observed that the insurance money was paid by the respondents only after the petitioner had given a consent for the full and final settlement of the claim.
  • The Ld. Court observed that the arbitration clause cannot be invoked by the petitioner after executing a discharge voucher.
  • Accordingly, the Court dismissed the petition.
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