1. These two rules arise out of a proceeding held in the Munsiff's Court of Tajpore under the provisions of Sections 525 and 526 of the Civil Procedure Code. It appears that certain matters in dispute between the parties to these two rules were referred to arbitration without the intervention of a Court of Justice. The arbitrators made their award on the 5th of August 1881; but it was not handed over to the parties till the 13th September following. The petitioners in Rule No. 1033 being dissatisfied with the award, in the meantime filed, on the 16th of August, a petition of review before the arbitrators.
2. While this petition of review was pending, the petitioners in Rule No. 1202 under Section 525 of the Civil Procedure Code, applied to the Munsiff of Tajpore, who had jurisdiction over the matter, to have the award filed in Court. On notice being given to the petitioners in Rule No. 1033, who were the parties to the arbitration other than the applicants under Section 525, they raised various objections, some of which undoubtedly come within the provisions of Sections 520 and 521 of the Civil Procedure Code; but the Court without determining any of them refused the application on the 9th January 1882 solely on the ground that an application for review was then pending before the arbitrators.
3. On the 7th January 1882, the application for review was rejected. The petitioners in Rule No. 1202 again applied to the Court on the 5th February 1882 to have the award filed in Court under Section 525. Again the parties other than the applicants, on notice being given, urged various objections, which were disposed of by the Court on the 30th June 1882.
4. One of the objections urged against the award being filed in Court was that the application dated the 25th February 1882 was out of time, under Article 1761 of the Limitation Act, which lays down that an application under Section 525 of the Civil Procedure Code should be made within six months from the date of the award. The Court overruled this objection on the ground that the six months should be counted from the date when the award became final, and that the award did not become final till the application for review was disposed of.
5. Another objection against the award was that the arbitrators were guilty of corruption. The Court overruled it, finding that this charge was not established.
6. But the Court, being of opinion that the application for review had not been duly considered by all the arbitrators, remitted the award to them to deal with the application for review according to certain directions contained in the judgment. The petitioners in Rule No. 1202 contend that the order remitting the award is erroneous; that the Court, having regard to its finding upon the other objections, should have ordered the award to be filed in Court. The petitioners in the other rule contend that the decision of the lower Court on the question of limitation is erroneous; and that it having come to the conclusion that the proceedings of the arbitrators were not regular should have rejected the application at once.
7. The first question that we have to decide is, whether the application of the 25th February 1882 was barred under the provisions of Article 176 of the Limitation Act. The order of the lower Court in this case is not appealable, and the rules were obtained under the provisions of Section 622 of the Civil Procedure Code. Supposing that the decision of the lower Court on the question of limitation is erroneous in law, it might be doubtful whether it would bring the case within the purview of Section 622 of the Civil Procedure Code. However, if it were necessary for us to decide this question, we would follow the opinion expressed by Couch, C.J. in Sreenath Chatterjee v. Koylash Chunder Chatterjee 21 W.R. 248 'that the word 'date' does not mean the day written in the award, as when it was made, but the time when it is given to the parties, when it becomes an award and is handed over to them, so that they may be able to give effect to it.' An award may be made and dated the day it is written and signed by the arbitrators. It may then remain in the hands of the arbitrators for more than six months. In a case like this it would be unreasonable to hold that the six months should count from the 'date' written in the award.
8. It is clearly the intention of the Legislature that a party to an arbitration should have six months to enforce the award under Section 525 of the Civil Procedure Code from the time when he is in a position to enforce it.
9. It has been next urged in support of Rule No. 1033 that when objections were taken to the filing of the award in Court, and when some of these objections, came within Sections 520 and 521 of the Civil Procedure Code, the lower Court should have dismissed the application under Section 526. It has been contended before us that a Court under Sections 525 and 526 cannot enter into the question of the validity of the cause shown against the Filing in Court of an award; that whenever any of the grounds mentioned or referred to in Section 520 or Section 521 are alleged, the Court must refuse the application holding that sufficient cause has been shown why the award should not be filed within the meaning of Section 525 and 526. In support of this contention the case of Ichamoyee Chowdhranee v. Prosunno Nath Chowdhri (ante, p. 557) has been relied upon. The learned Judges who decided that case gave different reasons for their decision. No doubt the judgment of Wilson, J., fully supports this contention; but with great deference to his opinion we are unable to agree in that view. In Dandekar v. Dandekars I.L.R. 6 Bom. 663 a contrary view of the Sections 525 and 526 has been taken. We do not think it necessary to go into the reasons of our decision upon this point, as we do not find that we can add anything to those given in the Bombay decision cited above. This objection must also therefore fail.
10. In Rule No. 1202 it has been urged that the lower Court is in error in remitting the award to the arbitrators to reconsider the application for review against it. We are of opinion that this contention is valid. After the award was made and handed over to the parties, the functions of the arbitrators ceased. They had no power afterwards to deal with any application for review.
11. Therefore, the ground upon which the first application was disposed of by the lower Court was erroneous. We, therefore, set aside both the orders of the 9th January and 30th June 1882, and send back the record to the lower Court to deal with the objections taken to the filing of the award according to law. We allow no costs in either of the Rules.
Description of application. period of Time from which period begins to
Under the Code of Civil Proce- Six months... The date of the award.]
dure, Section 516 or 525, that an
award be filed in Court.