Arbitrator is not under an obligation to frame issues before adjudication; may do so for the sake of crystallizing the dispute

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Sindhu Sharma, Dhiraj Singh Thakur, JJ., allowed an LPA filed against the order of the writ court whereby the court had remanded the matter back to the arbitrator/additional registrar, co-operative societies and directed him to conduct the arbitration as per the provisions of Arbitration and Conciliation Act after formulating proper issues.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the High Court had erred in passing the impugned order.

The Court observed that from a bare perusal of the award passed by the arbitrator, it can be concluded that it was a non-speaking order which did not specify about the liability of the respondent. The Court further observed that since the Cooperative Societies Act, 1989 is a self-sufficient law which provides for the procedure of conducting the arbitration. Lastly, the Court observed that there is no mandate on the part of the arbitrator to frame issues before adjudicating a dispute, however, he may do so for the sake of crystallizing the dispute.

The Court held that the order of the writ court should be modified to the extent that it directs the arbitration proceedings to be conducted under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The Court held that the arbitrator may conduct the proceedings under the Cooperative Societies Act, 1989. Resultantly, the Court partly allowed the appeal. [Citizens Co-operative Bank Ltd. v. Krishan Lal Choudhary,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 747, order dated 22-10-2018]

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