NARAYAN SINGH BISHT Vs. UTTARANCHAL PAYJAL NIGAM
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Narayan Singh Bisht
Uttaranchal Payjal Nigam
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Prafulla C. Pant, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal, preferred under Section 37 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, is directed against the order dated 21.12.2005, passed by the District Judge, Pithoragarh, in Suit No. 17 of 2004, whereby said court has set aside the award dated 07.04.2004, passed by the Arbitrator (Sh. C.S. Jain, Superintending Engineer of Uttaranchal Pay Jal Nigam).
(2.) HEARD learned counsel for the parties, and perused the lower court record. Brief facts of the case are that the respondent Uttaranchal Pay Jal Nigam floated a tender for construction of Filter Plant/Settling Plant in Pithoragarh, in the year 1998. In response to said notice, the tender submitted by the appellant was accepted by the respondent. In terms of agreement, the work was to be done by the contractor for Rs. 22,67,500/ -, and work was required to be completed by 18.10.1999. The period to compete the work was extended up to 18.01.2000. On 10.01.2001, the Executive Engineer of the respondent rescinded the contract on the ground that the work was not completed in terms of the agreement. During the period of construction work, only Rs. 55,000/ - was paid to the contractor (appellant) and the material worth Rs. 9,20,527/ - was given for the use in the construction work. The contractor (appellant) submitted claim of 17,51,387.75/ - with 12% interest thereon to the department. On the other hand, the respondent (department who floated the tender) after making deductions agreed to pay only Rs. 5,52,913/ -. As such, the dispute was got referred in terms of the Arbitration Clause in the agreement to the Arbitrator, who was none other than Superintending Engineer of Uttaranchal Pay Jal Nigam. The Arbitrator (Sh. S.C. Jain) entered into the arbitration and allowed the parties to submit documents in support of their claims and objections, whereafter, he took statements of the Officers of the respondent and that of the contractor, and gave its award dated 07.04.2004, whereby the claim of the contractor amounting Rs. 17,71,283.73/ - was accepted and it was further directed that on said amount 12% interest shall be paid by the respondent to the contractor w.e.f. 11.01.2001, apart from Rs. 5000/ - towards the costs of arbitration.
(3.) THE award was submitted to the District Judge, Pithoragarh, in whose jurisdiction the work was to be done. The respondent filed objections under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, for setting aside the award on the grounds that the Arbitrator has erred in law in delivering the award in favour of the contractor. It is also pleaded that the material used by the contractor was of lower quality. It is also stated in the objections that the respondent had to get the unfinished work competed by engaging another agency. It is also alleged that a round settling tank was constructed by the contractor without the approval of the respondent. The painting work was also not competed by him. The trial court, after hearing the parties set aside the award holding that the same is passed in violation of the public policy. Aggrieved by said order dated 21.12.2005, passed by the District Judge, Pithoragarh, in Suit No. 17 of 2004, this appeal is preferred by the contractor.;
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