L M DAS Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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P.C.Mallick, J. -
(1.) Two applications have been made in respect to the same award dated 19th/20th November 1958 made by Mr. H. Banerjee, I. C. S. Mr. Banerjee was appointed arbitrator to adjudicate the disputes in respect to a contractor's claim for construction of roads. One application is by the contractor L. M. Das for an order to remit the award for adjudication of some of the claims which have not been adjudicated. The learned arbitrator has left out these claims on the ground that in his opinion he had no jurisdiction to deal with the said claims. The other application is by the Government to set aside the award in respect to other claims allowed by the learned arbitrator or in the alternative for correction or modification of the award. Both the applications though heard separately one after the other are being disposed of by this judgment.
(2.) There were three contracts as evidenced by acceptance by the Government of West Bengal of three tenders submitted by the contractor being Tenders Nos. 30 and 31 of 1952/53 and Tender No. 81 of 1952/53. The contracts were for the construction of two roads (i) Hooghly-Saptagram Road, in two Sections (ii) Memari-Manteswar-Katwa Road. Tenders Nos. 30 and 31 relate to the Hooghly-Saptagram Road and Tender No. 81 relates to Memari-Manteswar Road. All the contracts contained the usual arbitration clause in the standard form whereby the Superintending Engineer was to act arbitrator. In the instant case the parties agreed that instead of the Superintending Engineer, Mr. H. Banerjee, I. C. S., one of the Secretaries to the Government of West Bengal would act as the arbitrator. Pursuant to the agreement Mr. H. Banerjee did so act. The parties were required to file and they did file their State of Facts, Counter State of Facts and Replies. Issues were framed, evidence led and ultimately on November 19th/20th 1958 the award was made by the learned arbitrator.
(3.) The case of the contractor is that in executing the contract he was required by the Government engineers and/or overseers to do various works. The nature of the works has been set out in paragraph 14 of the petition. The said works done by the contractor were neither measured nor paid for initially. Subsequently, however, some of the claims in respect to the works were allowed departmentally. The contractor on being called upon by a letter dated November 19, 1954 to submit his bills with necessary details submitted his bills on December 10, 1954, in respect to the Hooghly-Septagram Road (Tenders Nos. 30 and 31) and on December 15, 1954 in respect to the Memari-Manteswar Road (Tender No. 8D, Long thereafter, in 1956 there was negotiation between the contractor and the Government which ultimately resulted in the appointment of Mr. H. Banerjee, I. C. S., as arbitrator. The negotiation is evidenced by the correspondence and the order of appointment. These letters and order of appointment will have to be considered later as they have considerable bearing on the present controversy before me.;
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