The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed an application by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) seeking to refer a dispute to arbitration.

The issue involved in the case was whether the federation could amend the criteria regarding qualification of a member.

Originally, Sportscraft Sporting Company (SSC), Mumbai, filed a suit seeking a declaration that the resolution altering the eligibility criteria for ordinary members in the council meeting on November 6, 2012, as ultra vires and void.

It sought a permanent injunction restraining the federation from giving effect to the resolution and altering the status of SSC from that of an ordinary member.

The federation filed an application stating that the sporting company ought to have sought resolution of the dispute, if any, by way of reference to arbitration. The suit was not maintainable.

Mr. Justice Ramanathan said the issue cannot be decided in arbitration and had to be decided in court as there was no clear proof of existence of an arbitration agreement between the parties.

The clause in the annual return would not have the effect of agreeing to refer any dispute to arbitration in the absence of any clause for arbitration in the Articles of Association.

Stage set for new regime

With the Madras High Court clearing the decks for the opening of the ballot box of the FMSCI elections held on December 23, the focus has now shifted to the five available seats for the post of council members, a group considered to be powerful in FMSCI.

The elected councillors will then nominate a new president and vice-president.

FMSCI has 84 registered clubs, but only 14 (ordinary members inclusive of five founder members) of them can contest and vote for the election of the eight-member council.

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