1. This is a petition to revise the order of the District Munsif of Ambasamudram declining to set aside an award passed by the arbitrators in S.C.S. No. 1738 of 1921. The first contention urged by Mr. Ramaswami Aiyar against the judgment of the Lower Court is that the arbitrators imported into the consideration of the case matters within their own personal knowledge. In giving grounds for their decision the arbitrators say: ' And we also know that whenever he came here he may have purchased oil from this plaintiff or other oil-mongers only upon the payment of ready cash and that otherwise there was no necessity for him to have such large dealings. ' The District Munsif dealing with this objection says: ' No doubt the arbitrators have imported personal knowledge. They are entitled to do so and parties who consented to the arbitration would clearly have known that the arbitrators must have some local knowledge and would import such knowledge in deciding the case. 'Whether the arbitrators could import their own personal knowledge into the consideration of the case before them 'would depend upon the terms of submission to arbitration. If the submission simply asks the arbitrators to decide a case that would not give them a right to import their own personal knowledge into the consideration of the case. But where the submission to arbitration gives them an option either to take evidence or to decide the case upon their own personal knowledge they would be entitled to import into the consideration of the case their own personal knowledge. This is the view of Mr. Justice Lindsay in Lakshmi Narain v. Sheonath Pande ILR (1919) A 185. The learned Judge observes : 'This matter has to be determined in the light of the language of the agreement by which the dispute was referred to arbitration. If the parties agreed that the arbitrator should decide the dispute between them on his own knowledge, and further agreed that there was no need for him to take any evidence, no misconduct can be imputed. ' In this case, the reference to the arbitration does not say that the arbitrators were to decide the matter in controversy upon their own personal knowledge. On the other hand the reference to arbitration simply asks them to decide the dispute between the plaintiff and the defendants. That being so, they cannot import into the consideration of the case anything derived from their own personal knowledge.
2. Apart from this objection there is a more serious objection to the award. In paragraph 5 of the grounds attached to the award they say, 'it is learnt that this defendant lived along with his wife at Sankarankoil on these occasions. It does not appear that they lived in this village or made any celebration on those dates.' They do not say from whom they learnt or had this information and it does not appear that they enquired of anybody in the presence of the plaintiff. Taking evidence in the absence of the plaintiff is illegal. Another objection urged by Mr. Ramaswami Aiyar is that his client wanted the arbitrators to take evidence and went to them on several occasions and they put him off with some excuse or other. The District Munsif does not deal specifically with this objection, but the respondent's vakil wants to rely upon the last paragraph of his judgment in which he says : ' The arbitrators have arrived at their decision after due and careful and bona fide enquiry and there is nothing to vitiate the award. 'This does not amount to a finding that the statement of the plaintiff that he asked the arbitrators several times to take evidence on his side and they put him off with some excuse or other, is not true. On the whole, I am not satisfied that the arbitrators acted according to law, and therefore their award is bad. The District Munsif's order accepting the award is set aside and he is directed to restore the suit to file and dispose of it according to law. The costs of this petition will be provided for in the decree which may be passed by the District Munsif.