Decided on May 21,2007



Gita Mittal, J. - (1.) This petition has been filed by the petitioner under Section 11 (6) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 praying for appointment of an arbitrator in accordance with the terms of the arbitration agreement between the parties. The brief facts so far as necessary for the adjudication of the present petition are briefly noticed hereafter.
(2.) The petitioner is a sole proprietor of M/s Kamal Construction Company which was awarded two contracts by the respondent during the year 2000-01. Pursuant to the first contract, a work order dated 24th May, 2000 for the desilting and removal of silt of Bhagat Singh Road Nalla in W. No. 78 was placed on the petitioner. The second contract relate to desilting and removal of silt from West Vinod Nagar drain in W.No. 72, RD 0 To 550 mtrs was awarded to the petitioner and order dated 25th May, 2000 was placed on him. The petitioner has contended that the work was successfully completed and bills for payment of the work were duly given, finalised and cleared for payment by the respondent. According to the petitioner, against work order No. 107, a sum of Rs. 1,34,607/- is due and payable while against work order No. 184 a sum of Rs. 1,648,000/- is due and payable. Meanwhile the petitioner has urged that he is entitled to a total sum of Rs. 2,35,255/- from the respondent with interest. The bills of the petitioner are stated to have been certified and placed for payment on 13th July, 2001 in respect of work order No, 184 and on 16th July, 2001 in respect of a work order No. 107. Despite clearance for payment, the amounts so payable are till date outstanding from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to the petitioner. Numerous requests for payment have not elicited any positive response. Accordingly, the petitioner invoked the arbitration clause between the parties contained in clause 25 of the conditions of the contract which governs both contracts. The petitioner sent a notice dated 15th April, 2004 to the respondents requesting appointment of an arbitrator in terms thereof. This was followed by a reminder dated 5th June, 2006. As the respondent failed to act in terms of the arbitration agreement, the present petition was filed by the petitioner on 11th July, 2006 praying for appointment of an independent arbitrator.
(3.) This petition has been vehemently opposed by Mr. Gurinder Pal Singh, learned counsel for the respondent on the ground that the petitioner has not exhausted the requirements of clause 25 of the general conditions of the contract which governs the parties and consequently the petition is premature. The respondent has also challenged the manner of invocation and contended that the notice issued by the petitioner is not as per clause 25. At the same time, an objection has been taken that the petition is not maintainable inasmuch as the claims of the petitioner are hopelessly barred by limitation.;

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