M/S. SIRI RAM SYAL Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
M/S. Siri Ram Syal
UNION OF INDIA
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A.K. Sikri, J. -
(1.) Union of India through General Manager, Northern Railway, invited tenders for 'earth work in formation, diversions and construction of bridges, including training works in Zone KVR-4 from KM 3.171 to Km 3.643 on proposed realignment between Jawanwalashahr-Guler Stations on Pathankot-Joginder Nagar Section' of Northern Railway. This contract was ultimately awarded to the petitioner herein, namely, M/s. Siri Ram Sayal and sons. Some dispute arose and the General Manager appointed Sh. J.L. Jain and Sh. O.N. Endley as the Arbitrators to adjudicate upon the same. These Arbitrators have made and published their award dated 20.5.1988. By this award, the two Arbitrators have directed the Union of India to pay to the petitioners a sum of Rs. 6,86,280/- in full and final settlement of their claims. It is also directed that if the payment is not made within 45 days, this amount shall carry interest @ 12% per annum after the expiry of 45 days till the payment is made or decree passed, whichever is earlier.
(2.) On the publishing of this award, the petitioner filed application under Section 14 and 17 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 for filing of the award and making it rule of the court which is registered as suit No. 1481A/88. The Union of India intended to challenge this award and they also filed petition under Section 14 of the Act for filing of the award which was registered as suit No. 1425A/88. Arbitrators were directed to file the award in original. When it was filed, notice thereafter was given to the parties. The Union of India filed IA No. 8293/88 which are objections under Section 30 and 33 of the Arbitration Act challenging the said award. The petitioner filed reply thereto. On 17.10.89, the following issues were framed :
1) Whether the objection-petition has been filed within period of limitation ?
2) Whether the award is liable to be set aside on the grounds set up in the objection-petition ?
Parties were directed to lead evidence in the form of affidavits which was done thereafter and arguments were heard. In these circumstances, I proceed to first deal with these objections.
(3.) As is clear from the issues which were framed on these objections, the petitioner has objected to the maintainability of these objections on the ground that they were filed beyond the period of limitation. It is contended that notice of filing of the award was served on the Union of India on 4.10.1988. Though it is admitted that objections were filed on 2.11.88 (which would be within limitation) but the contention is that it did not bear sufficient stamps and was clearly under stamped. The application was thus filed without proper court fee and since this objection was put by the Registry on 7.11.1988 with remarks that the same be refiled after removing the objection within one week i.e. by 14.11.1988. The proper court fee was in fact paid and application was refiled only on 15.11.1988, as such the objections can be treated as having been filed only on 15.11.1988 and these would be time barred.;
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