MANOHAR SINGH Vs. ADARSH NIRMAN CO OPERATIVE GROUP HOUSING SOCIETY LIMITED
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
ADARSH NIRMAN COOPERATIVE GROUP HOUSING SOCIETY LIMITED
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Jaspal Singh -
(2.)THE petition moved under Section 20 of the Arbitration Act has been contested only on the ground that since the petitioner had accepted payment in full and final settlement of the claim as against the final bill, therefore, the arbitration clause stands discharged.
Admittedly the petitioner received Rs. 7,75,000.00 and did represent that the amount so received was towards full and final settlement of the claim. But then the petitioner claims that this was so stated only under duress and in this respect my attention was drawn to a letter four days after the receipt executed for Rs. 7,75,000.00. It was mentioned therein: "Inspite of our repeated requests and reminders the Society had paid us only a sum of Rs. 7.75 lacs on 2.2.1992 and a receipt was obtained by the Society, wherein our's Manohar Singh was asked to write "as full and final settlement". We dispute the aforesaid undertaking which was given under duress, without our free consent and the same is/shall not binding on us. Nor this undertaking shall be operative against us in any manner what-so-ever."
Undoubtedly in c 1992 (4) Delhi Lawyer 344=48 (1992) DLT 241 it was held that where payment is accepted without protest while settling the final bill, the arbitration clause stands discharged. However, in the said case there was no plea that the amount had been accepted under duress and I feel it is this which distinguishes the present case.
It is the consistent view of this Court that where the plea is that the no claim certificate was given under coercion then that question can be decided by the Arbitrator and not by the Court. Reference in this connection may be made to Arun Construction Co. v. Union of India, 1980 Rajdhani Law Reporter 307 and B.D.Chawla v. Union of India 1984 Rajdhani Law Reporter 421. This much as far as the objection noticed above goes.
No other point having been agitated before me, I allow the petition.
I had called upon the parties to suggest agreed name for appointment of Arbitrator. There was no agreement on this score also. Consequently in view of what has been noticed by me above the parties are directed to appoint their respective Arbitrators as per Clause 43 within one month from today who shall enter into the reference and make the award within the statutory period.
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