1. These are two applications for the issue of a writ of certiorari and a writ of prohibition respectively and relate to certain proceedings commenced by the Triplicane Metal Workers' Co-operative Production and Sales Society in the following circumstances. The petitioner in the two petitions was the President of the Society. On 27th June 1947, the Society represented by its President filed before the Deputy Registrar, of Co-operative Societies, Madras, a claim for Rs. 8963-5-7 alleged to be due and owing to the Society by the petitioner. This claim was apparently made under Section 61, Madras Co-operative Societies Act, Act VI  of 1932, Sub-section (1) of which says that if any dispute touching the business of a registered society arises inter alia between the society and its officers, past and present, such dispute shall be referred to the Registrar for decision.
2. Now, what should have happened under the provisions of Section 51 (2) read with Rule 15 of the Rules made under the Act, was, the Registrar should, on receipt of such a reference, have decided to do one of three things, namely, (1) to decide the dispute himself, or (2) to transfer it for disposal to any person who has been invested by the Local Government with powers in that behalf or (3) subject to such rules as may be prescribed, to refer it for disposal to an arbitrator or arbitrators. The rules prescribe that where on receipt of a reference under Sub-rule (1) the Registrar decides under Clause (c) of Sub-section (2) of Section 51 of the Act, to refer it for decision by arbitration, a reference shall be made either to a single arbitrator appointed by the Registrar or to a body of arbitrators of whom one shall be nominated by the Registrar and one by each of the parties to the dispute.
3. It is contended on behalf of the petitioner that the provisions of the Act have not been substantially complied with in the course of the proceedings commenced as aforementioned. Two contentions were raised on his behalf. The first is that the Registrar referred to in Section 51 (1) and Section 51 (2) of the Act is the person appointed to perform all the duties of a Registrar of Cooperative Societies under the Act, and reliance was placed for this contention on the definition of 'Registrar' in Section 2 (g) of the Act. Section 3 of the Act empowers the Local Government to appoint a person to be Registrar of Co. operative Societies for the Presidency of Madras, and also empowers it, by general or special order, to confer on any other parsons all or any of the powers of a Registrar under the Act. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that a person appointed under this provision on whom some of the powers of a Registrar are conferred by the Provincial Government will not be a person who can be deemed to be a Registrar within the meaning of the definition in Section 2 (g), because, according to him, it is only when a person is appointed to perform all the duties of a Registrar that he can be deemed to be a Registrar within the meaning of that definition.
4. His next contention was that even assuming that a person on whom some of the powers of a Registrar have been conferred by order of Government--and it is common ground that the Deputy Registrar in this case is such a person on whom the powers under Section 51 (1) and (2) have been conferred--the procedure laid down in Sub-section (2) has not been followed. It is clear from a perusal of some of the relevant documents to which reference was made by counsel that the Deputy Registrar considered himself to be both a Registrar and an arbitrator within the meaning of Sub-section (2) of Section 51. In his memorandum dated 27th September 1948, which was communicated to the petitioner, the Deputy Registrar specifically says that he was deciding the dispute as an arbitrator. On the face of it, this communication is based on an obvious confusion of the relevant provisions. If the Deputy Registrar had decided to decide the dispute under Section 51 (2) (b), he could only decide it as a person to whom it had been transferred for disposal by the Registrar. He could not in that event dispose of the case as an arbitrator. It is also clear that the procedure laid down in Rule 15 (2) has not been followed. There is nothing on record to show, and it was represented to us by counsel on behalf of the Deputy Registrar that there is nothing outside the record to show, that at any time after the receipt of the reference by the society, either the Registrar or the Deputy Registrar decided under Clause (c) of Sub-section (2) of Section 51 of the Act, to refer it for disposal by arbitration. Obviously, if there had been such a decision, the reference must have been made either to a single arbitrator appointed by the Registrar or to a body of arbitrators of whom one shall be nominated by the Registrar and one by each of the parties to the dispute.
5. On 4th November 1948, eventually an award was made purporting to be by the Deputy Registrar and arbitrator, directing the petitioner to pay to the Society Rs. 6600 with interest at one pie per rupee per mensem from 1st July 1947 until realisation. This award made in complete disregard of the provisions of the statute cannot be deemed to be an award in law. The Deputy Registrar exceeded his jurisdiction in professing and proceeding to dispose of the case as an arbitrator. In his reasons given for the award, the Deputy Registrar says that the question raised as to his jurisdiction to try the case as an arbitrator is irrelevant. On the other hand, it appears to be extremely relevant to us; and as in this case he has clearly acted without jurisdiction, the order passed by him in pursuance of which the award was made must be quashed. C. M. P. No. 573 of 1949 is allowed. The petitioner will be entitled to his costs from respondent 1 (Advocate's fee Rs. 150).
6. No orders need be passed on C. M. P. No. 6622 of 1948 because apparently before the receipt of the order of interim stay passed, on 20th November 1948, an award was made on 4th November 1948.