Decided on July 13,1999

Vishnu Kumar Gupta, Builders And Engineers Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


ARUN KUMAR GOEL, J. - (1.) PARTIES entered into an agreement being Contract No. CEJK/18 -83/84 regarding provision of OIM Accommodation at Ratnuchak (Phase -II). This agreement was entered upon between them after the tender of petitioner -non -objector was found to be lowest and thus work was allotted to him. It appears that disputes had arisen in relation to this agreement. It is further not in dispute that petitioner was registered as "S" Class Contractor with M.E.S.
(2.) FURTHER case of the petitioner was that he had completed the work as per requirement and instructions of the respondent and then submitted his bills. Since payments were not forthcoming, therefore according to him dispute had arisen between the parties and was referable to an Arbitrator who was to be appointed by the Engineer -in -Chief, Army Head/Quarter, New Delhi. Despite having been called upon to appoint an Arbitrator needful was not done by the Engineer -in -Chief, thus he had foregone his right to appoint the Arbitrator under the Act. In this background petitioner was compelled to file A.A. No. 126/90. This application was contested and resisted by the respondent. Amongst other things it was stated in their reply that J. D. Rawtani CSW has been appointed as Sole Arbitrator vide communication dated 7 -6 -1990. After having heard the parties a learned Judge vide order dated 30th August, 1990 revoked the authority of the Arbitrator appointed by the respondent and in his place appointed Brigadier V. K. Sawhney (Retd.) Chief Engineer M.E.S.; B. 458, Gangotri Enclave, New Delhi, who was on the panel of Arbitrator. As such the matter in dispute was referred to him for adjudication and he was required to submit his award within the statutory period of four months as per order of the Court. Respondent feeling aggrieved by this order preferred CIMA No. 76/90 and the Division Bench after hearing the respondent dismissed this CIMA on 18th December, 1990. Respondent feeling aggrieved by the said order of Division Bench in CIMA No. 76/90 preferred petition for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil No. 7578/91), which came up for consideration before the Hon'ble Supreme Court wherein the following order was passed on 8th May, 1991 : "A copy of impugned judgment of the High Court must be filed within two weeks as prayed for, failing which the Special Leave Petition shall stand dismissed."
(3.) THEREAFTER what happened to this Special Leave Petition is not known, although it is going to be more than eight years. Even during the course of hearing of the present case learned Senior Central Government Standing Counsel was unable to point out any anything in this behalf as to whether this Special Leave Petition has been allowed or dismissed by the Supreme Court, though a ground had been raised. In the ordinary course of things after having raised a ground in the objections it was required of the respondent to have appraised the Court of the outcome of Special Leave Petition. What is the effect of mere filing of Special Leave Petition without there being any interim order against the Arbitrator to proceed in the matter, is matter which will be taken up later on while considering the objections raised in this behalf. Record of the Arbitration proceedings indicate that after his appointment as Arbitrator, he entered upon reference by sending intimation dated 19th October, 1990 addressed to both the parties, and time frame for the conduct of the case was stipulated therein, which is to the following effect : (a) Contractor was required to submit his claim by 22 -11 -1990. (b) Pleadings in defence by the department was to be filed by 10 -12 -1990. (c) Rejoinder, if any, by the Contractor by 25 -12 -1990. (d) Claim by the department, if any, was to be filed by 10 -12 -1990. (e) Pleadings in defence by the Contractor was to be filed by 30 -12 -1990. (f) Rejoinder, if any, by the department was to be filed by 10 -1 -1991. ;

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