JUDGEMENT

- (1.)Since common questions of fact and law are involved in all these writ petitions, they are clubbed together, heard and disposed of by this order. In an arbitration proceedings between the first and third respondents pending before the second respondent-Arbitrator, the petitioner made an application for impleading itself as additional respondent. The said application has been rejected by the Arbitrator. The petitioner has called in question the validity of the said order in these writ petitions.
(2.)Sri M.R.C. Ravi, learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner would contend that the Government of Karnataka has passed an order dated 21-6-2014 transferring the assets and liabilities (rights and obligations) of the project in question along with the officers and staff to the petitioner. Thus, the petitioner has become the successor-in-interest in respect of the projects including the project that is concerned with the dispute before the Arbitral Tribunal. In view of the transfer of the assets and liabilities (rights and obligations) of the project including zone, circle, division and sub-division offices along with the officers and staff to the petitioner, the terms and conditions of all contracts entered between the Executive Engineer and the Contractors for executing the project is binding on the petitioner and accordingly, the petitioner is a necessary party for effective prosecution of the arbitral case. The Executive Engineer has signed the agreement for and on behalf of the State Government. The petitioner has stepped into the shoes of the State Government and has become successor-in-interest and accordingly petitioner has become the employer and the Executive Engineer is deemed to be executing the agreement. Therefore, the Arbitral Tribunal ought to have allowed the application.
(3.)It is further argued that in an identical case in C.A. Nos. 8544 and 8545 of 2003, disposed of on 31-10-2010, the Apex Court has held that the petitioner has locus standi to file a review petition as it has succeeded to the assets and liabilities of the State. The Arbitrator has failed to follow the decision of the Apex Court while considering the application.
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