IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH Date of Decision: 01.03.2013
ARB No. 60 of 2012 (O&M)
R.K.Sharma ...Petitioner V/s.
Karnal Improvement Trust, Karnal and another ...Respondents ARB No. 68 of 2012 (O&M)
R.K.Sharma ...Petitioner V/s.
Karnal Improvement Trust, Karnal and another ...Respondents CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE A.K.SIKRI, CHIEF JUSTICE. Present : Mr. Naveen Daryal, Advocate
for the petitioner.
Mr. Mahavir Sandhu, Advocate
for the respondents.
A.K.SIKRI, CJ. (Oral).
Parties to both the cases are same.
Petitioner herein was awarded two contracts by the respondents Karnal Improvement Trust. According to the petitioner in respect of both the contracts disputes have arisen and, therefore, these two applications have been filed by the petitioner under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 for appointment of the Arbitrator in both the cases. It is not necessary to traverse the facts of both the cases in detail. It would be suffice to point out that there were construction works which were awarded by the respondents to the petitioner. The case set up by the petitioner is that petitioner had gone ahead with the execution of both the works but was not released running payments in time in spite of various reminders given by the petitioner to the respondents in respect of both the works. Non payment of the amount in time against the running bills ARB Nos. 60 and 68 of 2012 (O&M) -2- resulted in the delay in the execution of the work which was also because of indecision on the part of the respondents.
The respondents, on the other hand, maintained that the slow progress in the work was entirely attributed to the petitioner. Various letters were written by the respondents to the petitioner for completion of work. Even when the time for executing the work was extended, the petitioner did not complete the work because of which respondents have levied penalty upon the petitioner.
The aforesaid facts would itself disclose that there are disputes in the parties. In fact during arguments, learned counsel for the respondents even submitted that respondents have some claims against the petitioner. Having regard to these admitted objections that there are claims and counter claims by both the parties against each other, these can be resolved and adjudicated upon only by means of arbitration having regard to clause 24 of the general conditions of contract which provides for resolution of disputes by arbitration. However, even when the petitioner had invoked the said arbitration clause vide notice dated 23.09.2008 and legal notice dated 14.10.2009, the respondents failed to appoint Arbitrator and did not appoint till the filing of the present petition as well which was filed on 15.03.2012. In fact, no appointment has been made till date. In these circumstances, now the Court could appoint Arbitrator. However, having regard to the fact that very nominal amount is involved, counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner has no objection even if the respondents appoint the Arbitrator now. As per the Arbitration clause, Superintending Engineer PWD (B&R) Circle Karnal is to act as the Arbitrator.
ARB Nos. 60 and 68 of 2012 (O&M) -3- Accordingly, these petitions are disposed of, appointing the Superintending Engineer PWD (B&R) Circle Karnal as the Arbitrator. The petitioner shall file his claim before the said Arbitrator in both the cases within a period of four weeks from today. The respondents shall also be permitted to file its counter claims. The Arbitrator shall proceed with the arbitration proceedings in accordance with the provisions of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
March 01, 2013