I would like you to know that I signed the photocopy of the rent agreement just as an acknowledgement that I am aware about the rent agreement but I did not enter into that rent agreement at all. The rent agreement is duly registered in by the court and I have absolutely no role to play in it.
Your question itself is having an answer in it, i.e., I have absolutely no role to play in it. You are right by saying that. You have signed the photocopy of the rent agreement, it means you are aware of the rental agreement between the franchisor and the landlord, so you can proceed with the franchise or business with the franchisor finding him to be a reliable person to do business through him in that place. There is no other meaning for that.
Also, in the franchisee agreement there is an "Indemnity clause" which states that the franchisee will keep the franchisor indemnified against any loss arising out from breach of the agreed terms. Now my question is that if i do not pay the lock in period amount (which is nowhere in written agreed terms) then whether I will have to bear the same due to a resulting loss to the franchisor when he pays the rent to the landlord ? No one is sure, maybe the franchisor company appoints another franchisee at that location or runs on its own to avert a loss situation. What is my liability in any such case.
The indemnity clause between you and the franchisor is a protection against any loss either way in the business and not due to the loss of any other external issue for eg., the lock in period loss etc., more particularly when it is not finding a place or mention in the agreement between you two. You have not entered into a rental agreement with the landlord neither you are responsible to pay the rent to the landlord. The franchisor for his own convenience entered into such an agreement with the landlord so mit is his problem whether to pay the same or to face the music of law, you are not bound to answer such absurd issues which cannot be maintained legally.
The arbitration clause is a common insertion. This rental issue cannot be referred to arbitrator, ignore the issues and be fearless.