NAGARBHAI MOTIBHAI MAKWANA AND CO Vs. DISTRICT PANCHAYAT MEHSANA
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Nagarbhai Motibhai Makwana And Co
District Panchayat Mehsana
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(1.) This appeal at the instance of the original applicant firm who are the building contractors is directed against the order of the learned Civil Judge (S. D) Mehsana dated 31/03/1981 dismissing the application of the appellant to set aside the award made by one Shri G. T. Panchigar Superintending Engineer Gandhinagar Panchayat dated 16/10/1976 It appears that the appellant had filed a suit being Special Civil Suit No. 115 of 1973 for recovery of Rs. 11 0 against Mehsana District Panchayat-respondent No. 1 The said Panchayat had tiled a Cross Regular Civil Suit No. 281 of 1973 against the present appellant for recovery of Rs. 8 29 Ps. after giving credit or the amount claimed by the appellant in their suit. It appears that the learned Civil Judge was moved jointly by the parties of the aforesaid two suits by their application dated 19/07/1915 (vide Exhibit 30) to refer the entire dispute to the arbitration of one Shri B. K. Engineer Superintending Engineer Gandhinagar District Panchayat. Accordingly a reference was made to said Shri B. K. Engineer by the learned Civil Judge by his order of 30/07/1975 Unfortunately however before the said Arbitrator could decide the matter he was transferred and the Civil Court was accordingly informed by him by his letter of 25/03/1976 (vide Exhibit 40). The learned Civil Judge therefore heard the parties and appointed Shri G. T. Panchigar who succeeded Shri B. K. Engineer as Superintending Engineer Gandhinagar Panchayat. It is common ground that this order was made by the learned Civil Judge in August 1976 I he said Arbitrator fixed 14/10/1976 as the date of hearing and informed the parties accordingly. Nobody remained present on behalf of the appellant firm on the said date with the result that the Arbitrator made the award on 16/10/1976 It is not clear from the order of the learned Civil Judge as to whether the Arbitrator had served the notice to the parties as required under sec. 14(1) of the Arbitration Act. The learned Civil Judge with respect to him confused the obligation of service of notice by the Arbitrator under sec. 14(1) and by the Court under sec. 14(2) of the Arbitration Act. While discussing the point No. G for determination as to whether notice under sec. 14(2) of the Indian Arbitration Act is returned and if yes what is its effect for its noncompliance the learned Judge has recorded that the Arbitrator had informed by registered post A/D on or about 23/10/1976 about the making of the award to the present appellant. It appears that the Arbitrator had filed the award as required under sec. 14(2) in the Court on 26/10/1976
(2.) The appellant firm had filed an application being Application No. 63 of 1976 before the Civil Judge (S. D.) Mehsana praying for setting aside the award of the Arbitrator. The award vas assailed broadly on about four grounds. In the first place it was assailed on the ground that there was no valid reference to Shri G. T. Panchigar. In the second place the award was vitiated since it was not made within the time originally stipulated by the learned Civil Judge. In the third place the award was also challenged of the ground that it was bad in law inasmuch as no notice as required under sec. 14(3) was served on the appellant and lastly it was assailed on the ground that the Arbitrator misconducted himself in not affording adequate opportunity of hearing to the opulent.
(3.) None of these objections impressed the learned Judge Who was also of the opinion that the application for setting aside the award was time barred. He therefore by his order of 31/03/1981 dismissed the application for setting aside the award. It is this order which is challenged in this appeal from order under sec. 39 of the Arbitration Act.;
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