SP SINGLA CONSTRUCTIONS PVT. LTD. …Appellant VERSUS STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH AND ANOTHER …Respondents


Whether the independant arbitrator be appointed as per amendment Act. 2015 ?

High court dismissed the application for appointment of fresh abitrator as already departmental arbitrator was appointed who terminated the arbitration proceedings due to non filing of claim –

Apex court held that However, on the fourth occasion, proceedings were simply terminated since no hearings were held on earlier occasions, he expected that his request might be accepted. The arbitrator could have issued a notice warning the appellant that no adjournment would be granted under any circumstances. Since, no such warning was given, we deem it appropriate to set aside the order of termination. Appellant had made a claim on account of delay as indicated in his letter dated 18.10.2013 under various heads. In the interest of justice, in our considered view, an opportunity is to be afforded to the appellant to go before the departmental arbitrator (as agreed by the parties in clause (65) of the general conditions of contract) and the proceedings of the arbitrator dated 06.08.2014 terminating the proceedings is to be set aside. We are conscious that after the Amendment Act, 2015, there cannot be a departmental arbitrator. As discussed earlier, in this

case, the agreement between the parties is dated 19.12.2006 and the relationship between the parties are governed by the general conditions of the contract dated 19.12.2006, the provisions of the Amendment Act, 2015 cannot be invoked. In the result, the appeals are disposed of with the following directions:- (i) the proceedings of the arbitrator dated 06.08.2014 terminating the arbitral proceedings is set aside. In terms of clause (65) of the general conditions of contract, the Chief Engineer, Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department is directed to appoint an arbitrator in terms of clause (65) of the agreement. (ii) the appellant shall file his claim before the arbitrator so nominated and the arbitrator shall afford sufficient opportunities to both the parties and proceed with the matter in accordance with law.