Devinder Singh Puri Vs.
Daljeet Puri & Ors.  INSC 1722 (14 October 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5248 OF 2002 Devinder
Singh Puri ... Appellant Birinder Singh Puri (dead by LRs.
Mrs. Daljit Puri and
Others) and others ... Respondents
O R D E R
appellant is the son of the deceased first respondent. The first respondent
claiming to be the sole proprietor of M/s. B.S. Puri & Co., filed a
petition under sections 14(2) and 17 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 (`Act' for
short) praying for the award dated 29.12.1993 passed by the sole arbitrator
(third respondent herein) in regard to disputes between M/s. B.S. Puri &
Co. and the second respondent, be made a rule of the court. In the said petition,
the petitioner was described thus : "Birinder Singh Puri, 225/18-A,
Chandigarh, Proprietor M/s. B.S.Puri & Co.".
the said proceedings, the appellant herein made an application under Order 1
Rule 10(2) of Civil Procedure Code for being impleaded as a party. The
appellant alleged that `M/s. B.S.Puri & Co.' was a partnership firm of
which his father, himself and his brother were the partners, and that his
father had filed the petition under section 14(2) and section 17 of the Act by
misleading the Court that `M/s. B.S.Puri & Co.' -- the claimant under the
Arbitration Award was a proprietary concern. He alleged that instead of showing
the claimant as a partnership firm, his father had tampered and fabricated
records to show that M/s. B.S.Puri & Co. was a proprietary concern. He
contended that as a partner of the firm of M/s. B.S.Puri & Co. he was
entitled to be heard in the matter and therefore he should be impleaded as a
said application was resisted by the first respondent. The trial court
dismissed the said application by order dated 23.12.2000. In the course of its
order, the trial court referred to the fact that the appellant had earlier
filed an application for impleadment and that application had been rejected;
that a review petition filed by him was also rejected; and that the revision
petition filed by him against the said order had also been disposed 3 of. The
trial court also noted that the appellant had also filed a suit for dissolution
of the partnership firm of M/s. B.S.Puri & Co. and rendition of accounts.
The trial court held that as first respondent had been recorded as the sole
proprietor of claimant in the Arbitration Award and the claim of the appellant
as to status as partner had not been adjudicated or declared by any court, he
was neither a necessary party nor a proper party to the proceedings.
aggrieved the appellant filed Civil Revision Petition No.243/2001 before the
Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court by its order dated 1.5.2001
dismissed the application. It held that the second application under Order 1
Rule 10 CPC was an abuse of process of law. It confirmed the finding that he
was neither a necessary nor a proper party. The said order is challenged in
this appeal by special leave.
contention of the appellant is that he is a partner of M/s. B.S.Puri & Co.
and therefore he was entitled to be impleaded as a party in the petition filed
by his father under sections 14(2) and 17 of the Act. He also contends that he
has filed a separate petition under 4 sections 30, 33 and 16 of the Act for
setting aside the award on the ground that the Arbitrator had misconducted the
proceedings by not acceding to his request for impleading him as a party. The
question that arises for consideration is whether in a petition filed by a
claimant in an Arbitration proceedings, for making a decree in terms of the
Arbitration award under sections 14(2) and 17 of the Act, a person who was not
a party in the arbitration proceedings could be impleaded the ground that he claimed
to be a partner of the claimant.
only issue in a proceeding under section 14(2) and 17 of the Act is whether the
award should be made a rule of the court or not. The question whether the award
should be set aside or not, would arise in a petition under sections 30, 33 and
16 of the Act and not in the petition under sections 14(2) and 17 of the Act.
In fact the appellant has claimed that he has filed a separate petition for
that relief. Having regard to the limited scope of the proceedings, the Court
which is considering a petition under sections 14(2) and 17 of the Act can not
embark upon an inquiry as to whether the petitioner before it was a partnership
firm or a proprietary concern and whether an applicant for impleading was a
partner thereof. Be that as 5 it may. The question as to whether the appellant
should be impleaded as a party, has become academic in view of subsequent
the pendency of this appeal, the first respondent (the petitioner in the
Arbitration Case No.96/25.1.1994 under Sections 14(2) and 17 of the Act) died.
By order dated 15.7.2008, this Court has permitted his widow, two sons
(including the appellant herein) and two daughters to be brought on record as
the LRs. of the deceased.
view of the fact that the first respondent who was the petitioner in the
Arbitration Case No.96/25.1.1994 has died, the aforesaid five persons will also
have to be brought on record as his LRs. in the said case, if they are not
already brought on record. If and when they are brought on record, the
appellant in his capacity as one of the LRs of the deceased petitioner in the
said proceedings, can certainly urge all his contentions in support of the
petition praying that a decree be made in terms of the award. No other question
would arise in the said proceedings. If the appellant wants to challenge the
award, then he has to pursue the petition said to have been filed 6 by him for
that purpose. As the grievance of the appellant that he should be heard in
Arbitration Case No.96/25.1.1994 does no longer subsist as he, in his capacity
as one of the LRs of the deceased, will be a party and will be heard. In fact
learned counsel for the other LRs of the deceased first respondent submitted
that they have no objection for the appellant herein coming on reord as an LR
of the deceased petitioner in Arbitration Case No.96/25.1.1994 and making his
submissions in support of the petition. In so far his other grievances are
concerned they cannot be gone into in the proceedings with a limited scope under
sections 14(2) and 17 of the Act, and it is open to the appellant to pursue his
remedies in accordance with law, in his suit for dissolution or his petition
for setting aside the award.
appellant submitted that there was some interference by his brother-in-law, who
had occupied a position of importance in the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
he has any such pending grievance he is at liberty to give a representation to
the High Court so that it can be looked into. That is not the subject matter of
the dispute relating to dissolution of partnership and various other issues are
pending for long, the parties, 7 if are so advised can get it settled by
getting it referred to Mediation. The appellant and the other LRs. of the
deceased first respondent agreed to explore the possibility of negotiated
settlement by mediation without prejudice to their rights/contentions. They
agreed that they will appear without further notice before Delhi Mediation
Centre, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi on 5.11.2008 at 4 p.m. for this purpose.
In view of the
foregoing, the appeal is disposed of as no longer surviving for consideration.
[R. V. Raveendran]
[Dr. Mukundakam Sharma]