At, High Court of Punjab and Haryana
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE GOKAL CHAND MITAL
For the Appearing Parties: Manohar Lal, Naubat Singh, Advocates.
(1.) In the contract agreement, there was an arbitration clause between the parties. A dispute arose between the parties and the matter was referred to the Superintending Engineer, Karnal, who was the Arbitrator named in the arbitration agreement. The contractor was not satisfied with the wor
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king of the Arbitrator and he filed an application on 24-9-1988, under Ss.8, 11, 12 and 20 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) for removal of the Arbitrator and for appointment of another Arbitrator by the Civil Court. This application was filed before a Sub Judge, Chandigarh. While that application was pending consideration and the time limit before the Arbitrator to arbitrate was going to expire, the other party, namely, the State of Haryana, filed an application under S.28 of the Act before the Senior Sub Judge, Sonepat, for extension of time. The application was opposed by the contractor on the plea that since the proceedings were pending before the Sub Judge, Chandigarh, Sonepat Court will have no jurisdiction. The Senior Sub Judge, Sonepat allowed the application after declining the prayer of the contractor by order dt. 15-11-1988 and extended the time for a period of four months from the date of order. The contractor has come to this Court in revision.
(2.) After hearing the learned counsel for the parties and keeping in view the provisions of S.31(4) of the Act, it is clear that the Sonepat Court would have no jurisdiction. Sub-sec. (4) of S.31 of the Act is in the following terms:-
"31(4). Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, where in any reference any application under this Act has been made in a Court competent to entertain it, that Court alone shall have jurisdiction over the arbitration proceedings and all subsequent applications arising out of that reference and the arbitration proceedings shall be made in that Court and in no other Court."
(3.) A reading of the aforesaid clearly shows that even if initially Sonepat Court may have jurisdiction to entertain the application under the Act, but if the Chandigarh Court also had jurisdiction and entertained the application under the Act, that very Court alone shall have jurisdiction over the arbitration proceedings and all subsequent applications arising out of that reference and arbitration proceedings, shall be made in that Court and in no other Court. It is not the case of State that Chandigarh Court has no jurisdiction. Accordingly, the order passed by the Sr. Sub Judge, Sonepat is without jurisdiction and the same is hereby set aside. However, if the State of Haryana wants to seek extension of time, it has to apply to the Court at Chandigarh where the proceedings under Ss.8, 11, 12 and 20 of the Act are pending.
(4.) The revision stands disposed but with no order as to costs. Revision allowed