Report No. 76
5.2. Section 15.-
Coming to the power to modify an award-which is first dealt with-section 15 confers that power in three situations. The first is where it appears to the court that a part of an award is upon a matter not referred to arbitration, and such part can be separated from the other part and does not affect the decision on the matter referred. The second is where the award is imperfect in form or contains any obvious error which can be amended without affecting such decision. The third applies where the award contains a clerical mistake or an error arising from an accidental slip or omission. The first situation hardly needs any comment, because the authority of an arbitrator cannot go beyond the matters referred to arbitration.
The second situation is equally unobjectionable, since the power to modify or correct the award is, in this case, linked up with an imperfection of form or an obvious error, and can be exercised without affecting the decision on the matter referred. The situation where an award contains an obvious error is illustrated by a series of cases where the award was erroneously passed against the President of India, while it should have been passed against the Union of India.1
The third situation becomes necessary by reason of the fact that the award, because of clerical mistake or accidental slip or omission, does not reflect the true intention of the arbitrator. The common link underlying the three situations is the legislative policy of giving effect to the substance of the arbitration and the award.
1.(a)Union of india v. salwar Timber Construction Co.,AIR 1963 Cal 307 (309), para. 9.
(b) Union of India v. Himatsingka Timer Co.,AIR 1964 Cal 91 (92, 93), paraas. 5 to 8.