1. This is a petition under Section 28 of the Arbitration Act, 1940. The parties entered into an agreement dated 12th December, 1974 at Simla for the supply of material by the petitioner to the respondent. Disputes arose between the parties. Shri L. R. Gupta Advocate and Sheri V. M. Baja, Superintending Engineer (Investigation) Circle No. 1, Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, Simla were appointed as arbitrators. It is stated that sometimes arbitration proceedings were held at Delhi and the arbitrators have not been able to give their award within the statutory period thereforee the present petition for extension of time for the making of the award.
2. The respondent in reply objects to the jurisdiction of this court to jurisdiction the present petition. It is stated that the agreement in question was executed at Simla, that no part of the cause of action arose at Delhi, and that the venue of arbitration proceeding was left to be decided to the arbitrators Clause 2 (p) of Article I of the agreement dated 12th December, 1974 is as under:
'Jurisdiction:- The contract shall be governed by the laws of India for the time being in force and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of Simla courts irrespective of the place of delivery, the place of performance or place of payment under the contract.'
On the pleading of the parties the following issues were framed on 30th August, 1978:
1. Whether the petitioner is entitled to extension of time for making the award ?
2. Whether this court has jurisdiction ?
3. Admittedly the agreement dated 12th December, 1974 between the parties was executed at Simla and, thereforee. the Courts at Simla have jurisdiction with respect to all disputes arising out of the said contract. The parties had also agreed that the contract shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Simla Courts. It is well recognised principle that the parties cannot by agreement confer jurisdiction on court which is not processed by it under the Code of Civil Procedure. But where two or more courts have, under the Code of Civil Procedure, jurisdiction to try a suit or proceeding, an agreement between the parties that the dispute between them shall be tried in one of such courts is not contrary to public policy and that such an agreement does not contravene Section 28 of the Contract Act ac has been held in Hakam Singh v. M/s. Gananon (India) Ltd. : 3SCR314 . The parties in the present case have agreed that the Simla Courts shall have jurisdiction in the matter. As the agreement in question was executed at Simla, the Simla Courts alone have jurisdiction to entertain the proceedings arising out of this agreement. I, thereforee, hold that this court has no jurisdiction.
Issue No. 1
4. It is not necessary to decide this issue in view of my finding on issue No. 2 that this court has no jurisdiction.
Issue No. 3.
5. In view of my finding on issue No. 2 the present petition be returned to the petitioner for presentation to the proper court having jurisdiction in the matter. The petitioner however, shall pay Rs. 200/- as costs to the respondent.
6. Order accordingly.