1. This appeal arises out of a suit to set aside an award dated the 24th of August 1906. Three brothers Janki Das, Tika Ram and Baldeo Das had a dispute about certain property, moveable and immoveable, belonging to their common ancestor. Accordingly, on the 29th of September 1905, they submitted their disputes to arbitration. Two of the brothers joined hands together and Janki Das, the plaintiff in the present suit, was the opposite party. Two arbitrators were appointed for Janki Das and two arbitrators for Tika Ram and Baldeo Das. An Umpire Chandan Lal was also appointed. The award which is sought to be set aside is alleged by the defendant to be the award of these arbitrators and the Umpire. The plaintiff attacks the award on three grounds. He says, first, that there was such gross delay on the part of the arbitrators that he was justified in serving a notice on the 16th of August 1906 withdrawing from the arbitration and that the submission must be taken to have been revoked. His second ground is that, in point of fact, no valid award was made, and that the so-called award was not even signed by the Umpire. There was a third ground, which has not been pressed in the argument, namely, that the award did finally dispose of all the matters in dispute.
2. The learned Subordinate Judge came to the conclusion on the evidence that the arbitration was a genuine arbitration and that the award was good.
3. We have come to the same conclusion. With regard to the alleged delay, we find upon the evidence of Chandan Lal, who was examined on behalf of the plaintiff, that shortly after the submission was signed the arbitrators all met, they framed rules for the due carrying out of the arbitration, the parties were required to make their different cases in writing, they were examined, questions were put to them both by the arbitrators and by each other and opportunity for cross-examination was allowed. It seems to us that the arbitration was carried out, in a much more business-like way than proceedings of this kind usually are. After these meetings (which would appear to have been amply sufficient to have decided the somewhat trivial dispute between three brothers concerning their family matters), not much appears to have been done until the 20th of August 1906. This is not altogether surprising; the tribunal consisted of five persons and there may have been some difficulty in getting them together. They did not all reside at the same place, and one of them at least was an invalid. Furthermore, the probabilities are that, as the result of the investigation of the matters in dispute which took place in October and in November 1905, it was pretty clear to all the parties what the result of the arbitration would be. However this may be, the plaintiff does appear to have served a notice attempting to revoke the arbitration on the 16th of August 1903. After that, the tribunal met again on the 20th of August and continued to sit for several days. No one appears to have taken the least notice of the notice served by the plaintiff. Chandan Lal, his own witness, although he denies now having signed the award, admits that the arbitrators met and he sat with them, though he says he took no part in the proceedings and formed no opinion. The other two arbitrators Badri Parshad and Jamna Prasad, who were examined, give a totally different version of the affair. They say that the arbitration continued in August, that the award was the work of the arbitrators and that it was dictated by the Umpire and signed by them all. The learned Subordinate Judge has accept their evidence and we think he was amply justified in doing so. The evidence of Chandan Lal is improbable to the last decree.
4. It is said that further delay took place between the date of the award and its registration, and that this circumstance supports the plaintiff's case and suggests that the award was not bona fide and the name of the Umpire, Chandan Lal, was forged. We cannot find that there was any extraordinary delay. After the award was drawn up by non-professional persons it had to go to a Pleader to advise as to what was to be done therewith. After his advice, it had to go to the Collector in order that the amount of the stamp should be adjudicated upon. In all probability the Collector sent it to the treasury. We can well believe that a considerable amount of time was taken up in making the usual and necessary inquiries. The award could not be registered until all this was done and the duty actually paid.
5. We, therefore, think that the plaintiff's case fails upon the two main grounds, namely the delay on the part of the arbitrators in completing the award, and also on the allegation that it was not signed by the arbitrators and Umpire.
6. The third ground was not urged by earned Counsel and, so far as we can see, the award was a perfectly valid one and, therefore, the appeal fails. We accordingly dismiss the appeal with costs including in this Court fees on the higher scale.