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Cite as:  DIFC CT 249
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Mohar v Mrut  DIFC SCT 249
June 22, 2023 SCT - JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS
Claim No: SCT 249/2022
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL
Hearing : 1 June 2023 Further Submissions : 2 June 2023 Judgment : 22 June 2023
JUDGMENT OF H.E. JUSTICE MAHA AL MHEIRI
UPON this Claim having been filed on 21 June 2022 (the “Claim”)
AND UPON this Claim having been called for a Hearing before H.E. Justice Maha Al Mheiri on 1 June 2023 with the Claimant’s representative and the Defendant’s representative in attendance (the “Hearing”)
AND UPON reviewing the case file and submissions contained therein
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. Mrut shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 108,286.93, representing 50% of the Claimed Amount.
2. Miki Transport & General Cont. LLC shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 108,286.93, representing 50% of the Claimed Amount.
3. Mrutshall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 5,414.35, representing 50% of the Court filing fee
Miki Transport & General Cont. LLC shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 5,414.35, representing 50% of the Court filing fee.
SCT Judge and Assistant Registrar
Date of issue: 22 June 2023
1. The Claimant is Mohar (the “Claimant”), a company registered and located in Sharjah, the UAE.
2. The Defendant is Miki Joint Venture (the “Defendant”), a UAE and Italian joint venture specialising in civil engineering and construction.
Background and the Preceding History
3. On 21 June 2022, the Claimant filed a claim with the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (the “SCT”) seeking payment of alleged unpaid invoices by the Defendant in the sum of AED 206,254.11.
4. Thereafter, a consultation was listed before SCT Judge Ayman Saey on 22 August 2022, at which the Claimant’s representative attended and the Defendant failed to appear, although served notice of Claim.
5. On 23 August 2022, pursuant to RDC 53.32, the Order of SCT Judge Ayman Saey was issued against the Defendant in the sum of AED 206,254.11, in addition to an order that the Defendant pay the Claimant the court filing fee in the sum of AED 10,312.71 (the “Order”).
6. On 9 February 2023, the Defendant filed an application seeking to stay the enforcement of the Order and to set aside the Order (the “Set Aside Application”).
7. The Set Aside Application was granted and the Order was set aside. Thereafter, the parties met for a Consultation with SCT Judge Hayley Norton on 9 May 2023 but were unable to reach a settlement. In line with the rules and procedures of the SCT, this matter was referred to me for determination, pursuant to a Hearing held on 1 June 2023.
8. On 5 October 2017, Mrutand Miki (Defendant)Transport & General Cont. LLC entered into a joint venture agreement under the name of “MrutAgreement” (the “JV Agreement”). Each party to the joint venture has a 50% interest in respect of any contracts entered into by Mrut, the Defendant.
9. Clause 4 of the JV Agreement states:
“CLAUSE 4 – PARTICIPATING INTEREST
4.1 the participating interest of each Party to the Joint Venture, the Final JV Agreement, the Tender and the Contract shall be as follows (each, a “Participating Interest”):
(i) Mrut %
(ii) Miki %
4.2 Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the Parties shall be entitled to all rights, profits, assets and benefits and shall bear all obligations, liabilities, risks, costs, expenses and losses arising out of, or in any way connected with, this Agreement, the joint Venture, the performance of the works in proportion to their Participating Interests in the Joint Venture.”
10. On 1 November 2020, the Defendant approached the Claimant requesting a quotation for the rental of construction equipment. The Claimant responded to the Defendant by providing a quotation for the equipment along with a specification sheet to be countersigned by the Defendant. Once signed, a purchase order would be issued for the Claimant to proceed with the request.
11. On 5 November 2020, the Defendant signed the Claimant’s hire agreement consenting to the Claimant’s terms and conditions (the “Hire Agreement”), and accepted the invoices that were submitted to it for payment, both of which contain a clause opting into the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts.
12. The jurisdiction clause of the Hire Agreement is set out below:
“This agreement is entered into at the Lessor’s branch that issues the hire contract, and the Hirer agrees to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the DIFC Court to determine any dispute arising out of the interpretation, performance, or non-performance of this hire agreement.”
13. At the Hearing, the Defendant admitted to the claimed amount being sought by the Claimant for the hire of the rental equipment but submitted that in accordance with the JV Agreement they are only responsible for 50% of the amount which the Claimant is claiming. In addition, Mrutalso agreed to pay 50% of the Court fee that the Claimant incurred when filing its Claim.
14. The Court acknowledges the contractual relationship between Mrutand Miki Transport & General Cont. LLC as the Defendant submitted the MrutAgreement as evidence of the relationship showing that Mrutmaintains a 50% interest in the joint venture. As the Claimant is in agreement, and the Mrut Agreement confirmed the 50% responsibility of Mrut, the Court does not oppose to the agreed terms of the parties.
15. In light of the aforementioned, I am of the view that, Mrutand Miki Transport & General Cont. LLC shall split the claimed amount in addition to payment of the Court fee on a 50% basis, and as agreed within the MrutAgreement.
16. Mrut shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 108,286.93, representing 50% of the Claimed Amount.
17. Miki Transport & General Cont. LLC shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 108,286.93, representing 50% of the Claimed Amount.
18. Mrutshall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 5,414.35 representing 50% of the Court filing fee.
19. Miki Transport & General Cont. LLC shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 5,414.35, representing 50% of the Court filing fee.