Union of India
Ajit Mehta and Associates, Pune and Ors.
- The case questioned whether the arbitration clause under Sections 30 and 33 of the Arbitration Act, 1940, could be invoked when the full and final settlement of the claim had been made - In spite of the full and final settlement of the claim, the arbitration clause in the contract may be subsisted, where the party invoking it alleged that as there was no accord and satisfaction like the submission of the final bill or receiving a receipt under coercion, mistake or misrepresentation, without prejudice, protest etc. - For that reason it became a dispute arbitral under the clause - However, if no such allegation was made, then the arbitration clause would have been invoked simpliciter - Therefore, it was held that the contract itself had come to an end along with the arbitration clause which was a part of it.
- The case debated on whether the arbitrator was held guilty of the legal misconduct- He had failed to decide on a dispute between the parties involved in the Government contract - The arbitrator is duty bound to decide the dispute- Hence, the arbitrator under Section 30 of the Arbitration Act, 1940, was held guilty of the legal misconduct.
- The case debated on the difference between the arbitrators appointed under Section 8 and Section 20 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 - It was adjudged that under Section 8 of the Act, the Court is only responsible for supplying the arbitrator and it has no control over the arbitration proceedings nor it has a power to give him any directions - Once it is done, the arbitration proceedings are governed by the specific agreement between the parties - The arbitration in such a case is without the intervention of the Court - Whereas, in cases, where the arbitrator is appointed under Section 20, the arbitration proceedings are controlled by the provisions of the Act - The Court can give directions to the arbitrator from time to time.
- The case questioned whether the Court has a jurisdiction to appoint the arbitrator under Section 8 of the Arbitration Act, 1949 - It was adjudged that under the arbitration clause, the arbitrator is to be appointed only by a named authority and not by the consent of the parties - Therefore, the provisions of Section 8 cannot be invoked by the Court for the appointment of an arbitrator - It is only the provisions of Section 20(4) that can be availed of in such circumstances - Even in that case also, the only direction that the Court can give to the appointing authority is to name the arbitrator - Under Section 8, the appointment of the arbitrator is void and without any jurisdiction - Hence, the arbitrator so appointed lacks jurisdiction inherently and the award made by such arbitrator can be set aside at any stage of the proceedings..
- The case questioned whether the Court has a suo motu power under Section 30 of the Arbitration Act, 1940, to set aside the award on the ground of illegality which was not covered by the said Section - It was held that the Court has a power to set aside such an award.
- The case debated whether the award made by the arbitrator, whose appointment was without jurisdiction, could be challenged as being null and void under Sections 17, 30, 33 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 - It was adjudged that the bar of limitation under Article 119 does not prevent the party from raising such an objection or prevent the Court from ignoring it as non-est or using its suo motu power to set it aside.
- The case questioned whether the award, which was improperly acquired, could be set aside by the Court under Section 30, or the Arbitration Act, 1940, on the ground that the relevant and necessary document were not produced before the arbitrator - It was held that the award could only be described as one with no evidence and hence was liable to be set aside.
- The case debated whether the award was liable to be set aside by the Court under Section 30 of the Arbitration Act, 1940, on the ground that the new claims were made during the arbitration proceedings - It was ruled that the award was made taking into the consideration those claims without giving the other party the opportunity to meet them.
- The case questioned whether the arbitrator was guilty of the misconduct under Section 30 of the Arbitration Act, 1940, when in spite of existence of specific prohibition in the contract against the entertainment of the certain claim, the claim was granted by the arbitrator - It was held that the arbitrator was guilty of the legal misconduct.
- The case questioned the jurisdiction of the Pune Court in entertaining the contractor's application for the appointment of the arbitrator under Sections 2(c) and 31 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 - The contractor had submitted a tender for the construction of the buildings outside the Maharashtra State - The letter communicating the acceptance of the tender was received by the contractor in Pune - It was adjudicated in the view of the above said matter, that it did not confer the jurisdiction on the Pune Court to entertain the contractor's application for the appointment of the arbitrator.