1. This Petition is to revise the judgment of the Munsif-Magistrate. Warangal, dismissing the suit O. S. 59/69 on his file, filed under Section 14 (2) of the Arbitration Act as being time barred.
2. Plaintiff and 1st defendant had subjected themselves to arbitration proceedings to be conducted by defendants 2 to 5, and defendants 2 to 5 has passed an award on 31-10-1968 on which the plaintiff and the defendants have signed and a copy of which also was signed and a copy of which also was admittedly given to the parties the same day. The plaintiff filed the suit under Section 14 (2) of the Arbitration Act on 20-2-1969 to make the award an order of the Court. To this the 1st defendant filed a written statement contending that the suit is time-barred. On enquiry the District Munsif agreed with this contention and dismissed the suit. Hence this petition to revise the same.
3. The question as to the maintainability of the suit in the Munsif's Court on the relief sought for under Section 14 (2) of the Arbitration Act and on its dismissal the maintainability of the revision here are not being canvassed.
4. The point that is to be decided in this revision is whether the suit is in time. Admittedly it is Article 119 of the Limitation Act which prescribes a period of 30 days for the suit from the date of notice of the making of the award that applies to the case. The suit was filed on 20-2-1969. the award was passed on 31-10-1968 and the parties including the plaintiff had signed on it on the same day and had been given a copy of it also the same day. This shows prima facie that the suit was out of time. the contention of the plaintiff is that under Section 14 (1) of the Arbitration Act, when the arbitrators have made their award, they should sign it and should give notice in writing to the parties of the making and signing thereof, that what the provision contemplates is a written notice being given to the parties intimating about the passing of the award and only after such written notice had been served on the party, the period of 30 days under Article 119 of the Limitation Act would start. For this contention, reliance is placed on the decision in Ratnawa v. Gurushiddappa, AIR 1962 Mys 135. There, while considering Article 178 of the old Limitation Act which is in the same terms as the present Article 119, it was held that notice under Section 14 (1) of the Arbitration Act should be served on the parties and under Section 42 the mode of service of notice is by delivering it to the person or by sending it by post etc., and the period of limitation would run only from that date that the notice had been served. In that case, the parties had known abut the passing of the award and had also signed on it, but in spite of it, as no notice as contemplated under Section 14 (1) had been given, it was held that limitation did not start from the date of the parties signing the award. Section 14 (1) no doubt contemplates giving of notice in writing and Article 119 of the Limitation Act also contemplate service of the notice of the making of the award. In the present case, not only did the parties sign the award, but also a copy of the award itself had been given to each of them. This shows that they had not only notice of the fact that the award had been passed but they had also notice of the terms of the award. therefore handing over of the award to the parties constitutes sufficient service as the notice by the award. In N. S. Ningashetti v. K. S. Ningashetti, : 2SCR551 , it was pointed out while discussing the provisions of Sections 14 (1) and 14 (2) of the Arbitration Act, that 'Notice' according to the Oxford Concise Dictionary means 'intimation, intelligence, warning' and when the Legislature used the word 'notice' it must be presumed to have had in mind that it means not only formal intimation but also an informal one and that similarly it must be deemed to have had in mind the fact that service of a notice would include constructive or informal notice. Though these remarks refer to Section 14 (2) of the Arbitration Act, they apply with equal force to S.14 (1). Even otherwise, the requirement of serving a formal notice in writing contemplated under Section 14 (1) and Article 119 is also satisfied by the handing over of a copy of the award itself to the parties. The Court was therefore right in holding that the proceedings are barred by time.
5. This revision petition is therefore dismissed. No costs.
6. Revision dismissed.