NATWARLAL DAMODARDAS Vs. PADARDI VIBHAG CO OPERATIVE MULTIPURPOSE SOCIETY LIMITED
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
PADARDI VIBHAG CO OPERATIVE MULTIPURPOSE SOCIETY LIMITED
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(1.) This Special Civil Application arises under the following circumstances:
(2.) The petitioner joined the service of the first respondent Cooperative Society as its Secretary on March 7 1950 and he was discharged from the service on January 7 1951 It appears that in June 1951 the Registrar of Cooperative Societies ordered special audit so far as this cooperative society was concerned and a deficit in cash of the society amounting to Rs. 4690.00 was found and various other amounts aggregating to Rs. 994-14-0 were found unexplained or unaccounted for. Thereafter on October 22 1953 complaint was lodged against the petitioner for the misappropriation regarding these two items of Rs. 4690.00 and Rs. 994-14-0; and on January 15 1955 the petitioner was acquitted by the Judicial Magistrate First Class Santrampur and there was no appeal against the acquittal. It appears that pending these proceedings in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class Santrampur on January 13 1954 the first respondent Cooperative Society made an application to the Registrar of Cooperative Societies under sec. 54 of the Bombay Cooperative Societies Act 1925 as it then stood for arbitration regarding the sum of as. 994-14-0 which claim was made against the petitioner No claim appears to have been made in respect of the amount of Rs. 4690.00. Thereafter the arbitration proceedings in accordance with the provisions of sec. 54 of the Act as it then stood were started and the arbitration was of three arbitrators one being the nominee of the Registrar and the other two having been nominated by each party The majority of the arbitrators decided on March 18 1960 against the petitioner and awarded a sum of Rs. 937-7-9. Thereafter an application was made by the petitioner to the Cooperative Tribunal and he called it a revision application. It is the petitioners contention that in fact he was preferring an appeal and by mistake he called it a revision application. The petitioners contention is that the Tribunal was under an impression that it could only exercise revisional powers and the Cooperative Tribunal addressed itself to only one aspect of the case viz. whether the award of the arbitrators was perverse and gave its finding in the negative and dismissed his appeal and or revision application on September 23. 1960 without going through the evidence and without adjudicating upon the case on merits. It is against this order of the Cooperative Tribunal that the present Special Civil Application has been filed.
(3.) It is to be borne in mind that while proceedings were pending before the three arbitrators the Bombay Cooperative Societies Act 1925 was amended by Bombay Act No. 41 of 1956 and extensive changes were made in the scheme of the Act regarding the machinery for decision of disputes and regarding appeal. Prior to the amendment by Bombay Act No. 41 of 1956 sec. 54 of the Act provided that if there was any dispute touching the constitution or business of a society between the society or its committee and any officer agent member or servant of the society past or present it had to be referred to the Registrar for decision by himself or his nominee or if either party so desired to arbitration of three arbitrators who were to be the Registrar or his nominee and one arbitrator bad to be nominated by each of the parties concerned. It was under this provision of sec. 54 that the matter came to be referred to the three arbitrators. Under the Act as it stood prior to its amendment the sec. 54A provided as follows:-
"54A (1) In the case of any award made by the arbitrators under section 54 the Tribunal may on the application of any of the parties to the award or otherwise for reasons to be recorded in writing:- (i) modify the award or (ii) set it aside and order that the dispute shall be referred back to the arbitrators in the manner provided under the said section: Provided that no such order shall be made- (a) after the issue of a certificate under section 59 for the execution of the award and (b) except on any of the following grounds:- (i)an objection to the legality of the award is apparent on the face of it or (ii)the award has been vitiated in consequence of corruption or misconduct on the part of any of the arbitrators or (iii) the award is in any way perverse.;
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