STATE OF GUJARAT V. AMBUJA BUILDERS
Facts of the Case
In this case, there was a contract between the two parties. Namely, the first one was a State and the second party was a contractor. There was an agreement between both the parties, in that the contractor had to repair the damaged streets, the reason for which were downpours. As per the agreement, the contractor did not fix the damaged roads, and thus, the employer gave notice to the contractor and stated that it would withdraw all the amount paid to the contractor within various agreements.
In reply to this notice, the contractor filed it under the High Court, which was against the employer, stating that the firm or the contractual worker cannot recover the sums sought from continuous provisional labour of the same temporary worker under another agreement without first evaluating or crystallizing the sum sought.
Issues of the Case
Does the arbitral tribunal has the authority to impose interim orders under section 17 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in a legal mediation under the Gujarat Public Works Contracts Disputes Arbitration Tribunal Act, 1992 (Gujarat Act)?
Judgment of the Case
After gaining a deeper and better knowledge of the Gujarat Act, the court found out that section 8(3) clearly states that if the arbitral tribunal accepts the reference under subsection 2 of section 8, it will give an award or an interim grant, with reasons. The section perceives the tribunal's determination to make interim grants. The court gave the reasoning to it that to the extent up to which the interim award is concerned. There are no irregularities in both the apps since the tribunals' power to grant the interim award is granted under section 8 (3) of the Gujarat Act, followed by the arbitration act it has been given under section 17.
According to the court, the best option for the contractor was to approach the arbitral tribunal established under the Gujarat Act, which would have the authority to determine whether the employer's notice was lawful and whether he was qualified to recover any money from the contractor.
The court determined that it would be within the tribunal's power to determine whether the contractor has established a prima facie case for inter grant or not. As a result, the supreme court dismissed the high court's request for them to be granted freedom and directed them to the Gujarat Acts Arbitral Tribunal.
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