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The Kollegal Silk Filatures Limited Vs. the Province of Madras by the Director of Industries and Commerce - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1947)2MLJ378
AppellantThe Kollegal Silk Filatures Limited
RespondentThe Province of Madras by the Director of Industries and Commerce
Cases ReferredIndia v. Chellikani Rama Rao
Excerpt:
- .....principles to be followed in apportioning the costs of 'proceedings before the arbitrator and on appeal' [clause (b)].4. it is manifest that the words of exclusion in clause (g) are very wide and must cover the limitation act as to which no saving provision is to be found in the section and none has been brought to our notice in any of the rules. it is, however,, urged by the government pleader that the exclusion operates only in respect of proceedings before the arbitrator and that an appeal to the high court cannot be regarded as an ' arbitration ' within the meaning of the clause.,. reliance is placed on clause (b) of sub-section (3) where ' proceedings before the arbitrator ' are referred to as being something distinct from proceedings ' on appeal'. we are unable to accept the.....
Judgment:

Patanjali Sastri, J.

1. This appeal arises put of an award of compensation made by art arbitrator appointed under Section 19 of the Defence of India Act, 1939, which provides for the payment of compensation in accordance with certain principles for compulsory acquisition of immoveable property, etc. The appeal was filed admittedly beyond the time prescribed by Article 156 of the Limitation Act for an appeal to this Court. The appellant, while maintaining that the said article is not applicable to the case, also applied under Section 5 of that Act for admission of the appeal even if it was considered as presented after time, but that application was rejected on the ground that no sufficient cause was shown for not presenting it within the prescribed period. The appeal is now posted before us for determining whether, as contended by the appellant, no time limit has been provided for an appeal of this kind and it must accordingly be deemed to have been duly filed.

2. The contention is based on two grounds : first, that clause {g) of Section 19 of the Defence of India Act, 1939, has the effect of excluding the application of the law of limitation to arbitration proceedings under that section, and, secondly, this is neither an appeal 'under the Code of Civil Procedure ' nor 'an appeal from a decree or order' and consequently does not fall under Article 156. We are of opinion that the contention must be accepted on the first ground, and that it is unnecessary to consider the second which the Government Pleader for the respondent seeks to repel on the strength of Ramaswami Pillai v. The Deputy Collector of Madura : (1919)37MLJ110 .

3. Sub-section (1) of Section 19 provides, inter alia that when no agreement can be reached regarding the amount of compensation the Central Government shall appoint as 'arbitrator' a person qualified for appointment as a Judge of a High Court [clause (b)]. The arbitrator 'in making his award' shall have regard to certain provisions of the Land Acquisition Act so far as they can be made applicable [Clause (c)]. An appeal shall lie to the High Court against an award of an arbitrator except in certain cases [clause (f)]. Clause (g) on the true construction , of which the question turns reads as follows:

Save as provided in this section and in any rules made thereunder, nothing in any law for the time being in force shall apply to arbitrations under this section.

Sub-sections (2) and (3) confer on the Central Government the power to make rules prescribing, inter alia, the principles to be followed in apportioning the costs of 'proceedings before the arbitrator and on appeal' [Clause (b)].

4. It is manifest that the words of exclusion in Clause (g) are very wide and must cover the Limitation Act as to which no saving provision is to be found in the section and none has been brought to our notice in any of the rules. It is, however,, urged by the Government Pleader that the exclusion operates only in respect of proceedings before the arbitrator and that an appeal to the High Court cannot be regarded as an ' arbitration ' within the meaning of the clause.,. Reliance is placed on Clause (b) of Sub-section (3) where ' Proceedings before the arbitrator ' are referred to as being something distinct from proceedings ' on appeal'. We are unable to accept the argument. In our opinion 'arbitration' in Clause (g) covers the entire proceedings from their commencement before the arbitrator to their termination in the High Court on appeal where an appeal has been preferred. Although the appeal is given to the 'High Court' under Clause (f), the appeal is against the 'award' of the arbitrator, and it seems to us that the High Court in hearing and deciding the appeal acts essentially as an arbitration tribunal, no less bound than the arbitrator under Clause (e) to have regard to the considerations referred to therein. We find nothing in Clause (b) of Sub-section (3) militating against this view. As that clause contemplates provisions being made by rules for the apportionment of costs incurred before the arbitrator and on appeal reference had to be made to the proceedings in the two separate stages but such reference cannot in our view import any distinction in the nature of the proceedings. in their different stages.

5. In the analogous case of an award of compensation by the Collector under the Land Acquisition Act from which an appeal lies to the District Court in the first instance and then to the High Court, the entire proceedings from beginning to end were regarded by the Privy Council as arbitration proceedings Distinguishing their decision in Rangoon Botatoung Company, Limited v. The Collector, Rangoon (1912) 23 M.L.J. 276 : L.R. 39 IndAp 197 : I.L.R. 40 Cal. 21 (P.C.) their Lordships observed in the Secretary of State for India v. Chellikani Rama Rao as follows:

In the Rangoon case a certain award had been made by the Collector under the Land Acquisition Act. This award was affirmed by the Court, which under the Act meant ' a principal Civil Court of Original Jurisdiction'. Two, Judges sat as 'the Court' and also as the High Court to which the appeal is given from the award of the Court.' The proceedings were, however, from beginning to end ostensibly and actually arbitration proceedings.

These observations support the view which we have expressed above.

6. It follows that no bar of limitation is applicable to the appeal which is accordingly in time.


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