Decided on July 22,1981



T.R.HANDA,J. - (1.)The plaintiff, Subraj and Company is a contractor the defendant, Himachal Pradesh Housing Board is a statutory body. The defendant appears to have allotted the following construction works in its Brick Factory, Paonta Sahib to the plaintiff contractor
Construction of 30 Dryers, 2. Construction of workshop building, and 3. Construction of Administrative Block. Three separate agreements Nos. 25, 28 and 29 of 1975 -76 were executed between the parties containing the terms and conditions on which the above mentioned works were to be executed. Clause 25 common to ail these agreements is in the following terms : - Clause 25. -"Except where otherwise provided in the contract all questions and disputes relating to the meaning of the specifications, designs, drawings and instructions hereinbefore mentioned and as to the quality of workmanship or materials used on the work or as to any other question, claim, right, matter or thing whatsoever, in aay way arising out of or relating to tht contract, designs, drawings specifications, estimates, instruction, orders or these conditions or otherwise concerning the works, or the execution or failure to execute the same whether arising during the progress of the work or after the completion or abandonment thereof shall be referred to the sole arbitration of the person appointed by the Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Housing Board. It will be no objection to aay such appointment that the arbitrator so appointed is a Board or Government servant, that he had to deal with the matters to which the contract relates and that in the course of his duties as Board or Government servant he had expressed views on all or any of the matters in dispute of difference. The arbitrator unto whom the matter is originally referred being transferred or vacating his office or being unable to act for any reason, the Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Housing Board at the time of such transfer, vacation of office or inability to act, shall appoint another person to act as arbitrator in accordance with the terms of the contract Such person shall be entitled to proceed with the reference from the stage at which it was left by his predecessor. It is also a term of this contract that no person other than a person appointed by Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Housing Board should act as arbitrator and, if for any reason, that is not v possible, the matter is not to be referred to arbitration at all. Subject as aforesaid the provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1940, or any statutory modification or re -enactment thereof and the rules made there under and for the time being in force shall apply to the arbitration proceeding under this clause. The arbitrator may from time to time with th3 consent of the parties enlarge the time for making and publishing of award".

(2.)Some differences having arisen between the parties with respect to the execution of the aforesaid works, the Chairman of the defendant -Board vide his latter dated 7th September, 1978 appointed Shri S. M. Bhagchandani, Superintending Engineer, H. P. P\VD., as Arbitrator to decide and make an award regarding claims/disputes raised by the plaintiff contractor and also regarding counter claims of the defendant -Board against the contractor subject, however, to their admissibility under clause 25 of the agreements (reproduced above) executed between the parties.
(3.)The arbitrator entered upon the reference and after hearing the parties, he made his award on 23rd April, 1979 in terms of which he directed the defendant -Board to pay Rs. 49,453 to the plaintiff -contractor.

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