(1) Rejecting the application of the petitioner under Order 6 Rule 17 CP.C. seeking amendment of the main petition under Sections 33, 8 & 20 of the Arbitration Act for converting the same into a regular suit for the recovery of money, the learned Judge held that so far as treatment of an application u/s 20 of the Arbitration Act as a suit, sub-section 2 thereof itself provides numbering of such applications and their registration as suits. However, as observed by the Calcutta High Court in the case of S. P. Consolidated Engineering Co. v. Union of India the wording of sub-section 20(2) is that the 'application shall be numbered and registered as a suit' does suggest that it is not a suit in the fullest sense of term 1933 Lah 18 and 1914 Sind 122 also referred to).
(2) After noticing the observation of the Judicial Committee in the case of Hansraj Gupta v. Dehra Dun Massoorie Electric Transway Co. 1933 P.C. 63 and that of the S. C. in the case of Maharana Bhagwat Singh Babadur of Udaipur v. The State of Rajasthan : (1964)ILLJ33SC , it was held that apart from the fact that the proceedings under the Arbitration Act could be basically treated as a suit, their scope and purport was essentially different. Thereby the Court was not being required to adjudicate upon the disputes between the parties or grant any relief in that direction. All that was sought was that those disputes be referred to arbitration for their determination on merits by the Arbitrator. The framework of those proceedings was altogether different. To convert that into a suit by way of amendment will amount to substitution of a different proceedings and action. This amendment-if allowed may prejudice the respondent that any suit brought at this stage may be hit by law of limittion. In case the petitioner feels that he is entitled to deduction of the periods spent in pursuing in good faith the petition under Arbitration Act or he can well to do so by independent action or suit. As observed by S C. in Pirgonda Hongonda Patil 1957 S.C. 363 the amendment must be refused where a fresh claim sought to be incorporated by way of amendment is found to have become barred by limitation. To allow such amendment would be to cause the defendant an injury which could not be compensated in costs, by depriving him of a good defense to the claim.
(3) Furthermore the amendment sought in the present case would alter the basic character of the pending proceeding, and relief entirely different from the one claimed earlier will be sought.