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Makam Lakshmi Narayanappa and ors. Vs. Makam Batchayya and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectArbitration
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in103Ind.Cas.829; (1927)53MLJ38
AppellantMakam Lakshmi Narayanappa and ors.
RespondentMakam Batchayya and ors.
Cases ReferredIn Ramanathan Chettiar v. Muthiah Chetty I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - 1. this petition raises rather an interesting point. one would be perfectly willing to help him if one could, because he has undoubtedly been the victim of some mistake. the judgment of the learned judges there proceeds on the assumption that the learned judge below was satisfied that a mistake had been made. the learned district munsif from the sentence i quoted above cannot be said to have been satisfied that a mistake has been made. (1920) b 512, is a strong case against the petitioner, where the learned judges say at p......ex. xxxiii. the petitioner, who, i assume, is the person aggrieved by this mistake, moved the learned district munsif and has come here in revision of his decision to get this error corrected. i should have said that the decree was passed in terms of the award without the slightest objection being taken. so that we have got this to start with, that everybody agreed that the award based on the figures presented by both sides or agreed to by both sides was a proper award. the petitioner applied to the district munsif to correct this error under section 152 or under the special paragraphs applicable to arbitrations (schedule ii, paragraph 12).2. the question is whether this is a 'clerical or arithmetical mistake in a judgment or a decree or is an error arising therein from any.....
Judgment:

Odgers, J.

1. This petition raises rather an interesting point. The parties to a certain suit referred their differences to arbitration and the arbitrators made an award based on certain documents, Exs. XXVI, XXVII and XXXIII, which contain certain figures on which the arbitrators based their decision. According to the District Munsif certain portions of Exs. XXVI and XXVII were torn and Ex. XXXIII carried out or carried forward the total which it is thought would have appeared in the missing portions of Exs. XXVI and XXVII. Both sides put in all the three exhibits and relied on them and the arbitrators made their award substantially on the basis of the figures contained in these three exhibits, which figures, as far as I can understand, were unquestioned by either side. Now, it is found that in these figures there is a mistake of exactly one thousand rupees owing to a mistake in addition of the sums carried forward into document Ex. XXXIII. The petitioner, who, I assume, is the person aggrieved by this mistake, moved the learned District Munsif and has come here in revision of his decision to get this error corrected. I should have said that the decree was passed in terms of the award without the slightest objection being taken. So that we have got this to start with, that everybody agreed that the award based on the figures presented by both sides or agreed to by both sides was a proper award. The petitioner applied to the District Munsif to correct this error under Section 152 or under the special paragraphs applicable to arbitrations (Schedule II, paragraph 12).

2. The question is whether this is a 'clerical or arithmetical mistake in a judgment or a decree or is an error arising therein from any accidental slip or omission' which the District Munsif ought to have corrected, or is it a case where the award contains a clerical mistake or an error arising from an accidental slip or omission which is practically the same thing. The District Munsif refused to correct it on the ground 'that it was not a mistake or slip or omission made by the arbitrators or by the Court' and that cannot be doubted. He also said that it cannot be predicated that, because the data on which the result is founded are found to be erroneous, it was not the intention of the arbitrators to fix Rs. 41,594-7-6 as the sum which they arrived at in their award. Now the question is, has the District Munsif gone wrong in law, and if he has, can I correct him in revision? Mr. Sankaranarayana, who appeared for the petitioner, has put before me several cases, to some of which I shall shortly refer, and the gist of the cases comes to this, that, of course, an accidental error can be corrected, and the accidental error can be corrected even although it arose in the plaint or some other pleading and was put forward under a mistake by counsel from the very beginning of the case of the party affected. He says that this is closely analogous to the present case where the representatives of the parties on each side put forward this document Ex. XXXIII. Apparently the crucial figures did not appear in documents Exs. XXVI and XXVII, and the cases, of course, further say that it does not matter whether a particular proceeding results in a decree after a trial or whether it is a decree after an arbitration. if they are clerical or arithmetical error or errors arising from slip or omission they can, of course, be corrected. I will just see how far these cases go in the direction of trying to help the petitioner. One would be perfectly willing to help him if one could, because he has undoubtedly been the victim of some mistake. The only thing is, can one help him especially in a Civil Revision Petition? The first case i will refer to is Hyder Sahib v. Giria Chettiar : (1913)24MLJ483 , which was referred to in the Lower Court. But there, as the District Munsif points out, I think the vital distinction is that the arbitrators themselves, unlike this case, miscalculated the amount due to one of the parties since they took 80 lbs. instead of 82 lbs. as a maund. I do not think that case really helps the petitioner. Allah Dia v. Rahimuddin (1924) 22 ALJ 215, a case of the Allahabad High Court, lays down what 1 was saying just now, that, if there is a mistake in the final form of order or decree due to a original mistake by the party or his lawyer in the application or pleadings, that also can be corrected. The judgment of the learned Judges there proceeds on the assumption that the learned Judge below was satisfied that a mistake had been made. The learned District Munsif from the sentence I quoted above cannot be said to have been satisfied that a mistake has been made. The next case is Surjan Singh v. Wazir Singh (1923) 21 ALJ 328, where there was a misdescription of a certain locality in the plaint which was in danger of being carried forward into the decree and might injuriously affect the right of the plaintiff or misrepresent the true state of facts. That, it was held, could be corrected. There, of course, it is a mistake. in all these cases of correction, of mistakes which originally appeared in the plaint or in the presentation of the case at the bar, there was a mistake by one of the parties or by his agents. In Mahaboob Begum Sahiba v. Lal Begum Saheba (1921) 14 LW 445, a case of this Court, the learned Judges held that even after the final decree a clerical error, namely an incorrect Survey No. , can be rectified though it is made in the plaint and repeated in the subsequent records. The same remark applies to that case. It will be observed in all these cases that there is no actual parallel with the present case because there is no arithmetical error and, in the present case, the mistake goes deeper; it is further below the surface than in any of the case cited for the petitioner. The mistake is embedded in a document which was presented to the arbitrators by both sides as containing the correct data. On the other side the following cases among others were cited to me. Pitchayya v. Subba Rao (1916) 3 L W 499 is a case of this Court where Sadasiva Aiyar and Moore, JJ., held that where in a decree passed on an award a relief as to payment of costs was embodied which was not part of the award the defect can be remedied only by an appeal or an application for review. I am inclined to think that really in the present case the matter is one either for a review or for an appeal. Gopal Dinkar v. Ganesh Narayan I.L.R. (1920) B 512, is a strong case against the petitioner, where the learned Judges say at p. 517 that when the parties agreed to have their disputes settled by their arbitrators they agreed to accept the decision of the arbitrators whether it might be right or wrong and the Court can only alter the award within the limits laid down by the 2nd Schedule. There is a decision which was also referred to Shiam Lal v. Parshottam Das (I.L.R. 1920) A 277, where it was decided that it is not a ground for remitting an award on a matter referred to arbitration or for setting aside an award that the arbitrator has made a mistake in arithmetic and apparently unintentionally has awarded a larger sum of money to be paid by one party to the other than he would have awarded if his attention had been directed to the mistake. In Ramanathan Chettiar v. Muthiah Chetty I.L.R. (1919) M 429 : 1919 38 M L J 247 the learned Judges say:

Ex. III makes it clear that the settlement was made by arbitrators or mediators. Such a settlement is not liable to be reopened except on the ground of fraud which is not alleged in this case.

3. Nor of course is it here. The petitioner practically asks me to re-open the award by declaring that the figures arrived at by the arbitrators are wrong and, I suppose, correcting them to what should be the proper figure. It therefore seems to me that I have not got materials before me to say that the learned District Munsif had no jurisdiction to decide as he did or that he was wrong in law. The application is practically not to correct an error patent and apparent on the face of the record but to go much deeper into the matter and to re-open the accounts and the figrues at which the arbitrators have arrived. This of course cannot be done in a Civil Revision Petition. The Civil Revision Petition must therefore be dismissed with costs.


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