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Report No. 76

4.42. Recommendation as to section 14 to cover cases of death of the arbitrator without filing the award and similar situatio.-

Sub-sections (2A) and (2B) to be inserted.-It appears to us that in the scheme of the Act, this question must be dealt with by a specific provision. The want of a specific provision-which is a lacuna1-may sometimes create avoidable problems. The same applies to cases other than death, such as the arbitrator not being traceable or neglect on his part to file the award. To make the section comprehensive on the subject, it is desirable to amend it in a suitable manner. The gist of our recommendation will be apparent from the following draft of the sub-sections which, according to us, should be inserted in section 14:-

"Section 14(2A)

If, because of the death of the arbitrator or for any other reason, the award is in the possession of a person other than the arbitrators or umpire, as the case may be, any party to the arbitration agreement may apply to the court for directing the said person to file the award along with the depositions and documents referred to in sub-section (2) if also in the possession of the said person."

"Section 14(2B)

The Court shall, on an application being made under sub-section (2A), after giving notice to the said person and to the parties, cause the award together with the depositions and documents to be filed in court and shall thereafter proceed to deal with the award in accordance with the provisions of this Act."

1. Para. 4.39, supra.

4.42A. Suggestion to require arbitrator to give reasons for the award.-

Before leaving section 14, it is necessary to deal with one suggestion that has been made to the effect that an arbitrator must be required to give reasons for the award. This suggestion was made by the Public Accounts Committee (1977-78), Sixth Lok Sabha, Ninth Report, dealing with the Forest Department, Andaman. The suggestion has been brought to our notice by the Ministry of Law.1 The Committee, after expressing its unhappiness over the manner in which certain arbitration cases which formed the subject-matter of the Report had been pursued, and after noting the delay that took place in the disposal of cases, made the following observations:-

"In this distressing story, Government has repeatedly suffered loss. In the first arbitration case, Government's claim for royalty on shortfall of extraction was not upheld. As the arbitrator's award gave no reasons, Government could not even find out why their claim was rejected. It will be strange if Government really find itself so helpless in such cases. The Committee would like Government to make up its mind and amend the law in such a manner that it would be obligatory on the arbitrator to give reasons for his award. Meanwhile, it should be ascertained whether in an award which sets out no reasons the aggrieved party have no remedy whatever."

1. Public Accounts Committee, Ninth Report, Sixth Lok Sabha (September 1977), (P.A.C. No. 548), p. 201, para. 3.272.

4.43. We have also been informed that the Public Accounts Committee, (1975-76), in its 210th Report, has observed as lfollows1.-

"Incidentally, the Committee also find that under the Arbitration Act, the Arbitrator is not bound to give any reason for the award. The result is that often it becomes difficult to challenge such non-speaking awards on any particular ground. The Committee are of the view that it should be made obligatory on arbitrators to give detailed reasons for their awards so that they may, if necessary, stand the test of objective judicial scrutiny. The Committee desire that this aspect should be examined and the necessary provision brought soon on the statute book."

1. Public Accounts Committee,(1975-76), 210th Report, p.136, para.5.17.

Arbitration Act, 1940 Back

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