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S.P. Singla Constructions Pvt. Ltd. v/s Chief Engineer, Project Deepak & Others

    Arbitration Case No. 43 of 2020

    Decided On, 01 January 2021

    At, High Court of Himachal Pradesh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE L. NARAYANA SWAMY

    For the Appellant: Anirudh Wadhwa, Vivek Negi, Advocates. For the Respondent: Rajesh K. Sharma, Assistant Solicitor General of India.



Judgment Text

L. Narayana Swamy, CJ.

Oral

1. By way of the present petition filed under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the petitioner is seeking a direction for appointment of Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Kumar Goel, Former Judge of this High Court, as a sole Arbitrator.

2. Mr. Rajesh K. Sharma, learned Assistant Solicitor General of India, has raised an objection that since a technical issue is involved in the present dispute, therefore, the same is required to be considered and adjudicated by a technical person only and not by a retired Judge of the High Court. In support of his objection, he has referred to General Condition No.70 of the Arbitration Clause of Contract, annexed with the petition as Annexure P-2, relevant portion whereof is extracted as under:-

"70. Arbitration - All disputes, between the parties to the Contract (other than those for which the decision of the Commander Contract or any other person is by the Contract expressed to be final and binding) shall, after written notice by either party to the Contract to the other of them, be referred to the sole arbitration of an [Serving Officer having degree in Engineering or equivalent or having passed final/direct final Examination of sub-Division II of Institution of Surveyor (India) recognised by the Govt. of India.] to be

3. In view of the above objection raised by learned Assistant Solicitor General of India, he seeks one week's more time to obtain instructions with regard to appointment of a technical person as a sole Arbitrator in the present matter.

4. In my considered view, the present dispute involved between the parties is an arbitral issue and the same can be adjudicated by any retired Judge of the High Court. Therefore, the further prayer made on behalf of learned Assistant Solicitor General of India for seeking instructions with regard to appointment of a technical person as a sole Arbitrator in the present matter, is rejected.

5. In view of the above, considering the submissions and prayer made on behalf of the petitioner, the present petition is allowed and Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Kumar Goel, Former Judge of this High Court, is appointed an Arbitrator for adjudication of the dispute involved in the present petition. He is requested to enter into reference within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. It shall be open for learned Arbitrator to determine his own procedure with the consent of the parties. Otherwise also, entire procedure with regard to fixing of time limit for filing pleadings or passing of Award stands prescribed under Sections 23 and 29A of the Act.

6. Needless to say that award shall be made strictly as per provisions contained in Arbitration and Conciliation Act. A copy of this order shall be made available to

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learned Arbitrator, named above, by the Registry of this Court within a period of one week from today, enabling him to take steps for commencement of the arbitration proceedings within the stipulated period. 7. The petition stands disposed of accordingly, so also pending miscellaneous application(s), if any.
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