1. This appeal is due to irregularity in the procedure adopted by the learned Subordinate Judge. The suit was brought by the plaintiff Negi Puran Singh for the sale of three villages. Amongst the defendants to the suit are the three younger sons of one Gopal Singh, deceased, namely, Kundan Singh, Shamsher Singh and Tej Bahadur Singh, they being under the guardianship of their mother Musammat Lilawati.
2. Before the hearing had proceeded at any length, the plaintiff appears to have filed what is described as a reference to arbitration of the matters in dispute. On the 11th of June 1906, an agreement was filed by the plaintiff which was not signed by some of the defendants at the time it was filed. The signatures of some of the defendants were afterwards obtained.
3. The Court on the 13th of July passed an order to the effect that as no agreement referring the matter in dispute to arbitration had been filed, this must be done and the signature of the defendant Musammat Lilawati must be obtained. On the 25th of August, there appears in the order sheet of the learned Judge, a statement that Musammat Lilawati had not signed the agreement. Notwithstanding this he proceeded with the arbitration and passed an award on the 6th of October 1906, which is now impugned as invalid. A perusal of the order sheet will show the irregularity of the proceedings. Section 506 of the Code of Civil Procedure of 1882 provides that every application before the Court for an order of reference to arbitration shall be in writing and shall state the particular matter sought to be referred; and Section 508 directs that the Court shall by order refer to the arbitrator the matter in difference, which he is required to determine, and shall fix such time as it thinks reasonable for the delivery of the award and specify such time in the order. In this case, as we have pointed out, there was no application to refer, signed by all the parties, who were interested in the settlement of the suit, nor was any order passed by the Court referring the matter to arbitration. It is unnecessary for us to refer in detail to the orders passed by the learned Subordinate Judge which on their face disclose the neglect by him of the observance of the procedure clearly prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure. To the hearing of this appeal a preliminary objection was raised to the effect that an award having been made and a decree having been passed in accordance with it, no appeal to this Court lay.
4. An award, passed without the submission to arbitration of all the parties interested in the subject matter of it and without an order of the Court as prescribed by Section 508 referring the matters in dispute to the determination of arbitration and fixing a time for the making of an award, is not an award in law. We may further point out that according to one of the clauses of Section 521 of the Code, no award is valid, unless made within the period allowed by the Court. No time for making the award was fixed by the Court. The learned Subordinate Judge disregarded the express directions of the Legislature. We hold that there has been no valid award and accordingly allow the appeal, set aside the decree of the Court below and we direct that Court to re-instate the suit in the file of pending suits under its original number in the Register and dispose of it according to law, taking up the proceedings at the point at which the arbitration proceedings were begun.
5. We do not think that either party is entitled to any consideration. Both were to blame. We order that the parties bear their own costs of this appeal.