MANU/CG/0103/2016

IN THE HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH AT BILASPUR

Civil Revision Nos. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 of 2014

Decided On: 08.07.2016

Appellants: Gulab Chand Jain and Ors.
Vs.
Respondent: State of Chhattisgarh and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Sanjay K. Agrawal

ORDER

Sanjay K. Agrawal, J.

1. Invoking the revisional jurisdiction of this Court under Section 19 of the Chhattisgarh Madhyastham Adhikaran Adhiniyam, 1983 (hereinafter called as 'the Act of 1983' for short), the petitioners herein (contractors) have filed these revisions questioning the legality, validity and correctness of the impugned order(s) dated 7-5-2013 passed by the learned Chhattisgarh Madhyastham Adhikaran, Raipur (hereinafter called as 'the Arbitration Tribunal' for short), whereby their applications filed under Section 17-A of the Act of 1983 for recalling the order dated 13-1-2012 and restoration of reference petitions filed, were dismissed on the ground of lack of jurisdiction/non-maintainability by the Arbitration Tribunal constituted under the Act of 1983.

2. Aforesaid applications were dismissed by the learned Arbitration Tribunal on the following factual background:--

3. The petitioner(s) herein filed reference petitions under Section 7 of the Act of 1983 by raising dispute regarding non-payment of dues towards the work contract with the respondent State.

4. The above-stated applications were rejected by the learned Arbitration Tribunal by order dated 13-1-2012. The learned Arbitration Tribunal considered the said reference on the issue of maintainability/jurisdiction of the Tribunal and without entering into the merits of the claim reached to the conclusion that the agreement which was executed between the parties contains arbitration clause as clause 29 which provides for forum to the parties to place their disputes. It was further considered and held that as per the said arbitration clause, the dispute firstly was required to be referred to the Superintending Engineer in writing for his decision and the decision thereof is amenable to the Chief Engineer. The person aggrieved by the decision of the Chief Engineer can refer the dispute to the Arbitration Board to be constituted by the State Government consisting of three members and the constitution of the said Tribunal is different from constitution of the Tribunal as constituted under Section 3 of the Act of 1983 and as such, the disputes need to be referred to the final authority and thereafter to the Arbitration Tribunal as mentioned in the agreement, not to this Tribunal and thereafter placing reliance on the decision of the Supreme Court in the matter of VA Tech Escher Wyass Flovel Limited v. Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board and another MANU/SC/0569/2010 : (2011) 13 SCC 261 and further placing reliance on the decision of Ravikant Bansal v. Madhya Pradesh Rural Road Development Authority and another MANU/SC/1621/2011 : (2012) 3 SCC 513 the Arbitration Tribunal dismissed the reference petitions holding that in view of the decision of the Supreme Court, the matter is beyond the jurisdiction of this Tribunal. Thereafter, on 17-5-2012, the petitioners herein filed an application under Section 17-A of the Act of 1983 for recalling of orders and restoration of reference petition stating inter alia that the judgments of the Supreme Court in VA Tech (supra) and Ravikant Bansal (supra) have been rendered per incuriam by the Supreme Court in the matter of Madhya Pradesh Rural Road Development Authority and another v. L.G. Chaudhary Engineers and Contractors MANU/SC/0055/2012 : (2012) 3 SCC 495 decided on 24-1-2012, therefore, the order dismissing the reference petition for want of jurisdiction/non-maintainability be recalled and the reference petition be restored to its original file for hearing and disposal in accordance with law. Learned Arbitration Tribunal by its impugned order rejected the said application holding that in view of the second proviso to Section 17-A of the Act of 1983, the Tribunal has no power to review its own award and further held that the reference peti........