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Sidhartha Security Services v/s Chief General Manager, BSNL & Others

    A.A. No. 28 of 2011

    Decided On, 30 December 2013

    At, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir


    For the Petitioner: Vivek Sharma, Advocate. For the Respondents: Ravinder Sharma, Advocate.

Judgment Text

Dhiraj Singh Thakur, J.

1. This is a petition under Section 11 of the Jammu and Kashmir, Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1997 for the appointment of an independent arbitrator. The case of the petitioner is that it runs a private security agency, which is registered with the Directorate General Re-settlement, Department of the Ex-servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi.

2. It is submitted that quotations were invited from private security agencies for providing security guards/gun men at Non-BSNL sites in Kashmir Valley. It is further submitted that quotations submitted by the petitioner being lowest, it was allotted the contract for providing the security services.

3. An agreement dated 16-6-2005 was executed between the respondent and the petitioner. The agreement was executed only for a period of one year, which subsequently was extended. According to the agreement, the security guards were to be paid @ 3646/- p.m. per security guard with the assurance that the wages would be revised by the respondents after the revision of wages by the J & K Govt.

4. It is stated that the Govt. of J & K having revised the minimum wages of workers under the Minimum Wages Act by issuance of SRO 157 dated 6-6-2005 [Refer 2005 (3) JKS JK-386], the respondents were under an obligation to revise the wages as accrued to between the parties and reflected in Clause 6 of the agreement (supra). It is further stated that despite repeated requests nothing was done finally by the respondents.

5. Legal notice dated 22-01-2007 was served on the respondents by the petitioner, invoking the arbitration clause, according to which, General Manager, BSNL, SSA Kashmir or any other officer nominated by him would act as an arbitrator.

6. Objections have been filed by the respondents. Execution, of the agreement between the parties and existence of the arbitration clause is not denied. The nature of the disputes raised in the body of the petition for revision of the wages as contained in Clause 6 of the Agreement is also not denied. What is denied is the service of the legal notice dated 22-1-2007. It is also denied that no written representation was ever made prior to the alleged legal notice, seeking appointment of the arbitrator.

7. In rebuttal, the petitioner filed an affidavit, asserting therein that the petitioner had served the legal notice dated 22-1-2007 through his advocate through registered post on 22-1-2007. Reference is also made to the registered A/D card as also the receipt reflecting receipt of the registered letter in the office of the Chief Manager, BSNL, South Block, Bahu Plaza, Jammu.

8. Be that as it may, it cannot be denied that the notice was not served upon the respondents as alleged by the petitioned.

9. The arbitration clause 11 of the agreement is reproduced hereunder:

"11. In case of any dispute arising out of interpretation implementation of any point specifically provided in the agreement the matter shall be discussed mutually by the both parties and in case any difference the matter shall be referred to GM BSNL SSA Kashmir or to any other officer nominated for this purpose by him. The decision taken by the general Manager, BSNL SSA Kashmir or by the nominated officer shall be final and binding on both the parties."

10. From a perusal of the aforementioned clause, it is clear that the nature of the disputes raised by the petitioner herein is governed by the arbitration clause.

11. Having failed to respond to the notice within the period of 30 days as prescribed, the petitioner is entitled to seek the appointment of an independent arbitrator.

12. For the reasons mentioned above, this petition is allowed. Justice Sh. O.P. Sharma (retd.) is appointed as an arbitrator, who shall enter upon the reference and adjudicate upon the disputes between the parties within th

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e prescribed statutory period. The parties are at liberty to file detailed claims and counter claims before the learned arbitrator. The arbitrator shall fix his own fee in this regard. Registry shall intimate the learned arbitrator accordingly. The arbitrator shall, however, be at liberty to go into the questions of the claim being barred by limitation or being otherwise, a dead or state claim. 13. Disposed of accordingly.