BASANT LAL BANARSI LAL Vs. BANSI LAL DAGDULAL
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
BASANT LAL BANARSI LAL
BANSI LAL DAGDULAL
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Sarkar, J. -
(1.)The appellant is a commission agent and pucca aratiya and has been acting as such for the respondent since November 7, 1951, in the course of which various contracts were made between them in Greater Bombay. On February 26, 1952, two of such contracts were outstanding, one of which was in respect of groundnuts and was a forward contract.
(2.)In March 1952, disputes arose between the parties as to whether these contracts had been closed, each side making a claim on the other on the basis of its own contention, Eventually, on March 18, 1952, the appellant referred the disputes to arbitration under the arbitration clause contained in the contracts. On October 7, 1952, the arbitrators made one composite award for Rs. 22,529-15-9 against the respondent in respect of the said disputes. It is not very clear whether this award covered other disputes also.
(3.)This award was duly filed in the Bombay City Civil Court under the Arbitration Act, 1940, for a judgment being passed on it. Thereafter, on July 17, 1953, the respondent made an application to the Bombay City Civil Court for setting aside the award contending that forward contracts in groundnuts were illegal as the making of such contracts was prohibited by the Oilseeds (Forward Contract Prohibition) Order, 1943, issued under the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946, and hence the arbitration clause contained in the forward contract in groundnuts between the parties was null and void. It was said that the award based on that arbitration clause was therefore a nullity. The appellant's answer to this contention was that the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act did not apply to Greater Bombay where forward contracts were governed by the Bombay Forward Contracts Control Act, 1947, hereafter called the Bombay Act, and as the contract in groundnuts had been made in terms of that Act, it was legal, and, therefore, the award in terms of the arbitration clause contained in it was a valid and enforceable award. The learned Principal Judge of the Bombay City Civil Court accepted the respondents' contention and set aside the award. An appeal by the appellant to the High Court at Bombay against the judgment of the City Civil Court failed. The appellant has not come to this Court in further appeal.
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