Sulaiman, Ag. C.J.
1. This is an application in revision from an order of the Small Cause Court refusing to file an award delivered out of Court. The parties are members of a body called Cawnpore Kapra Committee and they signed the admission forms which stated that they would abide by the rules of the committee and that if there was any dispute relating to business or dealings between the members of the committee and that dispute was put before the committee, the committee would have full right to settle it, and any decision arrived at by the committee would be binding upon them. It further stated that if the signatories do not abide by the rules and the decisions of the committee, it would have the right to strike off their names from the rolls of members.
2. There was a dispute between the plaintiff and the defendant on account of a claim put forward by the plaintiff to the effect that there was a rule of the committee that if any customer began purchasing articles from another commission agent the latter would be bound to pay the entire amount to the previous commission agent with whom the customer had been dealing. The committee appears to have appointed three persons as arbitrators to decide this matter. When notices were issued to the defendant he first asked for some time, but later on failed to appear and one of the three arbitrators signed an award which was against the defendant. It is this award which was sought to be filed in Court.
3. It is unnecessary for us to express any opinion on the question whether the rule relied upon by the plaintiff can be said to be in restraint of trade or against; public policy. It is equally unnecessary to decide finally in this case whether a general contract entered into between two persons that all future disputes that may arise in connexion with any business transaction whatsoever shall be referred to the arbitration of a particular tribunal, is a binding contract. It may be doubtful whether such a contract can be treated as a matter referred to arbitration within the meaning of para. 20, Schedule 2, Civil P. C.
4. We accept the contention of the learned advocate for the applicant that unlike paras. 1 and 17, para. 20 does not require that the reference should be in writing. It is clear that the language of that paragraph does not require that there should have been a written reference. Para. 21 also makes it clear that all that is necessary is that the Court should be satisfied that the matter had been referred to arbitration and that an award had been made thereon and that there was no ground or proof which would vitiate the award. Had a writing been necessary it would have been very difficult to hold that merely signing the admission form and agreeing to abide by the rules to be made by the committee, the signatory had entered into a written agreement of reference to arbitration. The present case however can be disposed of on the simple question that there was no agreement to refer the dispute to the arbitration of three individuals, much less to the decision of only one of them. The admission form contained an undertaking by the signatory that he would abide by the decision of the Kapra Committee. There was no (authority given to the committee to delegate its power of deciding a dispute to a now tribunal. In the absence of such 'express authority the committee would not have power to leave the decision of the matter entirely in the hands of one or more of its members. The delegation of ministerial acts and duties can certainly be made by an arbitrator but unless expressly authorized to do so the arbitrator must exercise his own judgment on the points in dispute and must give his own independent decision.
5. It is next contended on behalf of the applicant that inasmuch as the defendant submitted to the reference his conduct amounted to referring the matter afresh to the arbitration. It however appears that notice was sent to him twice by the secretary of the committee to appear on the dates fixed and produce his evidence. No notice was ever sent by the arbitrators appointed by the committee. It cannot therefore by any stretch of imagination be supposed that he acquiesced in the disposal of his dispute by the three arbitrators. There was accordingly no acquiescence. The application is accordingly dismissed with costs.