1 23.12.2013 A.S.T. No.164 of 2013 s.d. Mr. Abhijit Chatterjee. ... for the petitioner. Mr. Nirmalya Dasgupta, Mr. Dibanath Dey. ... for the opposite party. Heard the learned Advocates of both the parties. This application is at the instance of the respondent and
is directed against the order dated July 4, 2013 passed by the learned Arbitrator in A.P. No.290 of 2012.
A dispute arose between the respondent and the claimant. The respondent was appointed as an Assistant Director (Operation) of the claimant/opposite party herein by an agreement with an arbitration clause.
Accordingly, an arbitrator was appointed as a sole arbitrator to resolve the dispute as per order of this Hon'ble Court under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The learned sole arbitrator was dealing with the matter. Accordingly, he asked the claimant to submit his statement of claim and the respondent was also directed to submit his counter statement of claim. Directions were also given for exchange of the statement of claim and counter-claim and then the matter should be dealt with by the learned Arbitrator.
The respondent filed an application under Section 25(a) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 contending, inter alia, that the claimant did not file its statement of claim within the time and as such, according to the provisions of Section 2 25(a) of the said Act, the learned Tribunal is required to terminate the proceedings.
While disposing of the application under Section 25(a) of the said Act, the sole arbitrator observed that the representative of the claimant was ill for a long period and he had to take admission to a nursing home and even the learned Advocate for the claimant was also ill for a long period. Mr. Chatterjee, the representative of the claimant is well conversant with the matter and he, personally, looks after the matter and as such, there was some delay. But, ultimately, the statement of claim was filed on May 3, 2013. The learned arbitrator has condoned the delay.
The above facts have been correctly recorded as per materials on record. Therefore, having considered the submissions of the learned Advocates of the parties and on going through the materials on record, I do not find any illegality in the impugned order.
The learned Advocate for the petitioner has contended that according to the clause 25(a) of the Act, the Arbitrator 'shall' terminate the proceeding, but it has not been followed.
The learned Arbitrator can well accept the principles of natural justice and he is fortified to take such a recourse by the provisions of Section 25(c) of the said Act and he has exercised of such power under Section 25(c) of the said Act. This is a totally discretionary power of the learned Arbitrator. Above all, the interlocutory matters are not revisable at all by way of filing of an application under Article 227 of the Constitution of 3 India according to the spirit of the 1996 Act. My finding gets support from the decision of AIR 2006 A.P. 234 which is relied on the illustrated judgment of (2005) 8 SCC 618 (SBP & Co. v. Patel Engineering Ltd. & anr.).
The learned Advocate for the petitioner has referred to the decision of Paltu Dutta v. S.M. Nibedita Roy reported in AIR 1990 Calcutta 262 which indicates the general power of the Court in the matter of exercising the jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution. In my view, it should not be discussed in details.
In that view of the matter, in my opinion, this application is totally devoid of merits and is, therefore, dismissed.
The Department is directed to allot a C.O. no. for regularisation of the A.S.T. No. in the matter.
Urgent xerox certified copy, if applied for, be given to the learned counsel for the petitioner upon compliance of necessary formalities.
(Prasenjit Mandal. J.)