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Union of India Vs. R.B. Ch. Raghunath Singh and Co. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectArbitration
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal Nos. 2472-2473 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1980SC103; (1979)4SCC21; [1980]1SCR128
ActsArbitration Act, 1940 - Sections 8(1)
AppellantUnion of India
RespondentR.B. Ch. Raghunath Singh and Co.
Appellant Advocate R.N. Sachthey,; R.B. Datar,; Girish Chandra and;
Respondent Advocate R.K. Garg, Adv.
Cases ReferredBadam Satayanarayanamurthi v. Badam Venkataramanamurthi and Ors. A.I.R.
Prior historyFrom the Judgment and Decree dated April 26-4-1996 of the Allahabad High Court in F.A.F.O. Nos. 447/61 and 476/60--
Excerpt:
.....did not intend to supply arbitrator in place of named arbitrator - such intention absent in arbitration agreement - court competent to supply vacancy - appeal dismissed. - haryana urban(control of rent and eviction)act,1973[har.act no.11/1973] -- section 4(2)(b): [m.m. kumar, hemant gupta, ajay & kumar mittal, jj] determination of fair rent held, the fair rent of building under the section is to be determined on the basis of rent agreed between landlord and tenant preceding the date of application. in the absence of rent agreed between parties the basic rent is required to be determined on the basis of rent prevailing in locality for a similar building or rented land on the date of application. if on the date of filing of the application under section 4 of the act for..........between the parties. the respondent company applied to the trial court for the filing of the arbitration agreement under section 20 of the arbitration act, 1940 hereinafter called the act and for appointment of an arbitrator under section 8. the applications were allowed. an arbitrator was appointed. the union of india took the matter in appeals to the allahabad high court. the high court has dismissed the appeal arising out of the order of the trial court under section 20 of the act and has treated the appeal arising out of section 8 order as a revision and dismissed the same also. the union of india has come to this court.2. the decisions of the courts below in regard to section 20 matter is at an end now. it was denied on behalf of the appellant that there was any arbitration.....
Judgment:
ORDER

N.L. Untwalia, J.

1. These two appeals by certificate arise out of the same proceedings between the parties. The respondent company applied to the Trial Court for the filing of the Arbitration agreement under Section 20 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 hereinafter called the Act and for appointment of an Arbitrator under Section 8. The applications were allowed. An Arbitrator was appointed. The Union of India took the matter in appeals to the Allahabad High Court. The High Court has dismissed the appeal arising out of the order of the Trial Court under Section 20 of the Act and has treated the appeal arising out of Section 8 order as a revision and dismissed the same also. The Union of India has come to this Court.

2. The decisions of the courts below in regard to Section 20 matter is at an end now. It was denied on behalf of the appellant that there was any Arbitration agreement. The findings of the court below in this regard could not be assailed at all.

3. The Arbitration clause in the contract between the parties ran as follows :-

All disputes or differences arising between the parties or their representatives and the Controller of Rationing Delhi at any time hereafter and of whatever nature arising out of or in respect of the contract shall be referred for arbitration to the Chief Commissioner Director of Storage, Ministry of Food, Government of India, and his decision shall be final and binding.

4. The post of Director of Storage, Ministry of Food, Government of India was abolished and no person holding that post was available for arbitration for the purpose of the arbitration clause aforesaid. The Chief Commissioner, however, was available but he refused to act. That led the respondent company to apply to the court under Section 8 of the Act for appointment of another Arbitrator.The argument put forward on behalf of the appellant is that when there was a named Arbitrator even though he was named by office, it was not open to the court to supply the vacancy in his place under Section 8(1)(b) of the Act. We did not find any substance in this argument. The court had no power to supply the vacancy under Section 8(1)(b) only if the arbitration agreement did show that the parties did not intend to supply the vacancy. If no such intention could be culled out from the arbitration clause, the court could supply the vacancy. There is a direct decision of this Court in Prabhat General Agencies etc. v. Union of India and Anr. : [1971]2SCR564 .

5. Mr. R.B. Datar, counsel for the appellant placed the reliance upon the Full Bench Decision of Madras High Court in Badam Satayanarayanamurthi v. Badam Venkataramanamurthi and Ors. A.I.R. 1948 Mad 312, in support of his submission that no other Arbitrator could be appointed by the court under Section 8 of the Act when the Arbitrator named in the agreement refused to act. In our opinion while considering the provisions of Section 8(1)(b) of the Act, that decision is of no help to the appellant. The full Bench decision was given with reference to the corresponding provisions of law contained in Schedule II of CPC, 1908 in paragraph 5 whereof the crucial words occurring in Section 8(1)(b) of the Act were not there.The words in Section 8(1)(b) are these : 'and arbitration agreement does not show that it was intended that the vacancy should not be supplied.'

6. For the reasons stated above, we hold that there is no merit in either of the two appeals. They are accordingly dismissed with costs which we quantify at Rs. 1500/-.


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