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Union of India (Uoi) Vs. S.B. Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectArbitration;Limitation
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberF.A.F.O. No. 832 of 1980
Judge
Reported inAIR1982All318
ActsArbitration Act, 1940 - Sections 14, 14(2) and 17; Limitation Act, 1963 - Schedule - Article 119(9)
AppellantUnion of India (Uoi)
RespondentS.B. Singh
Appellant AdvocateLalji Sinha, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateBharatji Agarwal, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredPratapgarh v. Ram Samujh Tewari
Excerpt:
(i) arbitration - application for filing award - sections 14 and 17 of arbitration act, 1940 - no relevant date present for service of notice - limitation of thirty days starts from time notice is served - application not barred by time - application filed under section 17 by arbitrator to court to make award rule of court - section 14 deleted - application under section 14 (2) not necessary. - - appellant's counsel has failed to point out any such date in the absence of which it is not possible to hold that the plaintiff-respondent's application for filing the award in the court for making the same rule of the court was barred by time......1. this appeal is directed against the order of civil judge, gorakhpur, dated 25-9-1980 making the award rule of the court. 2. s. b. singh appellant is the sole proprietor of the firm messrs. s. b. singh & sons which carries on business at deoria. the firm entered into a contract on 21-8-1970 with the appellant for the purchase of released bridge girders. it appears that later on a dispute arose between the parties and in pursuance of the terms of the contract the dispute was referred for adjudication to sri k. m. mall, deputy general manager of the north eastern railway, gorakhpur, who was appointed as the sole arbitrator without intervention of court sri mall gave his award on 1-12-1971 but he did not file the same in court. on july 10, 1972 an application was made on behalf of the.....
Judgment:

K.N. Singh, J.

1. This appeal is directed against the order of Civil Judge, Gorakhpur, dated 25-9-1980 making the award rule of the court.

2. S. B. Singh appellant is the sole proprietor of the Firm Messrs. S. B. Singh & Sons which carries on business at Deoria. The Firm entered into a contract on 21-8-1970 with the appellant for the purchase of released bridge girders. It appears that later on a dispute arose between the parties and in pursuance of the terms of the contract the dispute was referred for adjudication to Sri K. M. Mall, Deputy General Manager of the North Eastern Railway, Gorakhpur, who was appointed as the sole arbitrator without intervention of court Sri Mall gave his award on 1-12-1971 but he did not file the same in court. On July 10, 1972 an application was made on behalf of the defendant (plaintiff?) respondent to summon the award from the arbitrator and to make the same rule of the court. The application was purported to be filed under Sections 14 and 17 of the Arbitration Act 1940, but subsequently 'Sec. 14' was deleted and the application was treated only under Section 17 of the Act. The defendant appellant appeared before the court and contested the maintainability of the application under Section 17 of the Act.

3. Learned counsel for the appellant urged that since the award had not been filed by the arbitrator suo motu in the court and since it was filed in the court on the plaintiff-respondent's application under Section 17 (sic?) was not applicable instead Section 14 was attracted as it contained a prayer for filing of the award in the court for making the same rule of the court. He further contended that an application under Section 14(2) could be made within 30 days from the date of notice of the award as contemplated by Article 119 fa) of the Limitation Act, 1963. Since the award was made on 1-12-1971 whereas the application for making the award rule of the court was made on July 10. 1972, the same was barred by time and the court had no jurisdiction to pass any decree or to make the award rule of the court. In support of his contention he placed reliance on Amod Kumar Verma v. Hari Prasad Burman (AIR 1958 All 720); AH Dabir v. Nawabzada M. Ali Kabir Khan (AIR 1964 All 185), Seth Ramrichpal Sirya v. Ajmer Traders (AIR 1963 Rai 87) and Frick India Ltd. v. Executive Engineer Project Public Health Division No. 4 Chandigarh (AIR 1975 Punj & Har 39). We have considered the submissions made on behalf of the appellant and the authorities cited by the learned counsel but we are unable to find any merit in the contention. There is no dispute that an application under Section 14(2) filing award in the court and making the same rule of the court must be made within 30 days from the date of the service of notice of making of the award as contemplated by Article 119 of the Limitation Act 1963. No. application is maintainable in law after the expiry of the pariod of limitation prescribed by Article 119 (a) of the Lim. Act. The limitation of 30 days for filing of the award in the court commences from the date of service of the notice of the making of the award, unless the notice of the award is served on the party concerned, the period of limitation cannot run against him. In the instant case there is no material on record to show the date on which the arbitrator may have served the notice of the award on the plaintiff-respondent. Appellant's counsel has failed to point out any such date in the absence of which it is not possible to hold that the plaintiff-respondent's application for filing the award in the court for making the same rule of the court was barred by time. In absence of the relevant date it is not possible to accept the appellant's contention that the plaintiff's application was barred by time. The authorities cited by the counsel for the appellant need not be discussed in detail as in all these authorities it was held that for purpose of making application under Section 14 of the Act limitation of 30 days applies. We have no quarrel with the proposition but as pointed out earlier, the question does not arise in the instant case.

4. Learned counsel then urged that since the award had been given on 1-12-71 and the plaintiff-respondent had not filed any application under Section 14(2) of the Act, his application under Section 17 could not be allowed. It is true that normally when an award is made and the notice of the same is given to the parties, it is open to the party concerned to make application to the court under Section 14(2) for the issue of a direction to the arbitrator or the umpire as the case may be, to file the award in the court and to make the same rule of the court. After this application is made courts has to proceed under Sections. 15 and 16 of the Arbitration Act and if any objection is filed the court may modify the award under Section 15 or remit the same to the arbitrator for reconsideration. But where it finds no reason to remit the award or to modify the same or where it further finds no illegality in the award, it shall proceed to pronounce judgment according to the award. Upon the judgment so pronounced a decree shall follow in terms of the award in accordance with Section 17 of the Act. In the instant case the plaintiff-respondent had made an application under Section 17 for making the award rule of the court. Notice of that application was served on the appellant and he filed objections which were considered by the court. Since the court found no illegality in the award, it made the same rule of the court. No period of limitation is prescribed for making an application under Sec, 17 of the Arbitration Act and it is open to the court to pass orders if an award is filed in the court either suo motu or on summoning of the court, in any of these events, the question of limitation does not arise. This legal position is now fully settled by a decision of the Full Bench of this court in District Co-operative Development Federation Ltd., Pratapgarh v. Ram Samujh Tewari (1973 All LJ 579) : (AIR 1973 All 476). The facts of the instant case are almost identical to that involved in the Full Bench decision. In the instant case the plaintiff-respondent after making application under Section 17, made an application to the court for summoning the award from the arbitrator. The court accepted the request and summoned the award. In pursuance of the court's direction the arbitrator filed the award in the court. The court invited objection and considered the same on merits and made the award rule of the court. The appellant's objection was twofold, firstly that the application made by the applicant was barred by time and secondly that Section 17 does not contemplate filing of an application for summoning the award. The trial court rejected both the submissions. We have already upheld the trial court's findings. The view taken by the trial court is fully consistent with the Full Bench decision of our court in District Co-operative Development Federation Ltd., Pratapgarh v. Ram Samujh Tewari (1973 All LJ 579) : (AIR 1973 All 476).

5. In view of the above discussions we find no merit in the appeal. It is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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