MANU/SC/0117/2002

True Court CopyTM EnglishUC

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Civil Appeal Nos. 1398-1399 of 2002

Decided On: 21.02.2002

Appellants: Inder Sain Mittal
Vs.
Respondent: Housing Board, Haryana and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
M.B. Shah and B.N. Agrawal

JUDGMENT

B.N. Agrawal, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. These appeals by special leave are directed against judgmentrendered by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh in Civil RevisionApplications whereby the same have been allowed, orders passed by theappellate court upholding orders of the trial court disallowing the objections underSection 30 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') havebeen set aside, objections allowed and awards set aside.

3. The Housing Board, Haryana-respondent No. 1 (hereinafter referredto as 'the Board'), filed two separate money suits against the appellant in theCourt of the Senior Sub Judge, Sonepat, which were transferred to the Court ofAddl. Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.), Sonepat, who, by separate orders dated 19th March,1996, as agreed to by the parties, appointed Superintending Engineer, A.D.B.Bench Circle, P.W.D.(B & R) Br. Faridabad, as Arbitrator for settlement ofcertain disputes between the parties pertaining to the works of construction ofHouse in the Housing Board Colony at Sonepat. On receipt of the references,the Arbitrator entered thereupon and fixed 6th May, 1997 as the date for hearingthe parties in the arbitration proceedings, on which date the Contractor attendedthe proceedings whereas the Executive Engineer, who was representing theBoard, absented himself. On the next date of hearing, i.e., on 13th May, 1997,while the Executive Engineer made a prayer for adjournment for filing the writtenreply, the Contractor attended the proceedings and filed documents and hiscounsel almost concluded the argument. The matter was, however, adjournedto 8th June, 1997. In the meantime, on 2nd June, 1997, Shri R.K. Jain,Superintending Engineer, A.D.B., Bench Circle, P.W.D. (B & R) Branch,Faridabad, who was the Arbitrator, was transferred and posted asSuperintending Engineer, Construction Circle No. 1, Union Territory Chandigarh,but he continued with the arbitration proceedings in spite of his transfer. On thenext date of hearing, i.e. on 8th June, 1997, the Contractor attended thearbitration proceedings with his counsel whereas Executive Engineerrepresenting the Board though attended the proceedings but without counsel anddid not file written reply but requested for adjournment. Accordingly thearbitration proceedings were adjourned to 18th June, 1997, on which date, anaffidavit was submitted on behalf of the Board in support of its case and afterevidence was adduced on behalf of the parties, counsel appearing on behalf ofthe Contractor resumed further argument and concluded the same whereafter,counsel appearing on behalf of the Board also concluded his argument on thatday itself.

4. The Arbitrator thereupon gave the awards on 28th June, 1997.Applications under Section 14(2) of the Act were filed on behalf of the Contractorfor summoning the original awards from the Arbitrator and, upon receipt of thesame and after hearing the parties, making the awards rule of the court. On theother hand, on behalf of the Board,........