Decided on December 23,1992

B.SUBBA REDDY Respondents


- (1.)THESE eight cases, 4 C.M.As and 4 C.R.Ps, and together with the Cross- Obections arise out of the common Judgment dated 6-9-1989 passed in four Original Suits and four Original Petitions on the file of the Principal Subordinate Judge, Ongole. The parties in these cases are common. They will be referred to as the contractor and the State respectively.
(2.)THE contractor entered into four agreements with the State for "Providing Lining to the bed and side slopes of the Pamidipadu Branch Canal of N.S.Canals from K.M.O/4 to O/6," Disputes arose between the parties with regard to the works which were the subject matter of the said contracts. THE disputes were referred to a sole arbitrator who passed four awards on 18-4-1986. In regard to the awards relating to agreement Nos.8 to 11/SE/82-83 the contractor filed Original Suits No. 59/86, 55/86, 53/86, and 57/86 respectively to make the awards rule of the Court, whereas the State filed O.P. Nos. 85/86,86/86,87/86 and 88/86 respectively under Section 30 of the Arbitration Act, to set aside the award s. THE learned Principal Subordinate Judge, Ongole, by common judgment dated September 6, 1989 made the awards rule of the Court in all these case except for the modification in the provision of interest awarded by the Arbitrator at the rate of 18% p.a. on the amounts awarded from the date of the reference i.e, 21-10-1985 to the date of actual payment or decree whichever is earlier which is reduced to 12% p.a. from the date of the award i.e., 18-4-1986 till the date of realisation and dismissed the O.Ps. filed by the State. Against the said common judgment the State filed by above C.M. As. and C.R.Ps. and the contractor filed Cross-objections in the appeals C.M.A. Nos. 5/90,386/90,493/91 and 1268/90 were filed against the common judgment in O.P. Nos.85/86,87/86,88/86 and 86/86 respectively and C.R.P.Nos. 1135/90,1136/90,1134/90 and 818 / 90 were filed against the common judgment in O.S. Nos. 59/86, 53/86, 57/86 and 55/86 respectively.
Mr. B.V. Rarnamohan Rao, the learned Government Pleader, contends that the Cross-objections in these appeals are not maintainable and that in passing the awards the arbitrator misconducted himself inasmuch as there has been no application of mind by the arbitrator. Therefore, the learned Principal Subordinate Judge ought to have set aside the awards. He further contends that the arbitrator has no power to award interest by way of damages and also to award interest pendente lite and future interest. Therefore awarding the interest is without jurisdiction.

(3.)IT would be convenient to dispose of the preliminary objection with regard to maintainability of cross-objections. The contention of the learned Government Pleader is that Section 39 of the Arbitration Act, 1940, provides appeals against six categories of orders and there is no provision in the Act for filing of Cross- objections, therefore the Cross-objections are not maintainble. IT is further contended that if the contractor was aggrieved he could have filed an appeal under clause (iii) of sub-section (1) of Section 39, but he cannot file cross- objections.

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