Himachal Pradesh High Court: L. Narayana Swamy, CJ., while allowing the present petition under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, appointed Arun Kumar Goel, Former Judge of Himachal Pradesh High Court, as a sole arbitrator in the instant matter.
Rajesh K. Sharma, Assistant Solicitor General of India, raised an objection that since a technical issue is involved in the present dispute, therefore, the same is required to be considered and adjudicated by a technical person only and not by a retired Judge of the High Court. In support of his objection, reliance was placed on General Condition No. 70 of the Arbitration Clause of Contract which said;
“Arbitration – All disputes, between the parties to the Contract (other than those for which the decision of the Commander Contract or any other person is by the Contract expressed to be final and binding) shall, after written notice by either party to the Contract to the other of them, be referred to the sole arbitration of an [Serving Officer having degree in Engineering or equivalent or having passed final/direct final Examination of sub-Division II of Institution of Surveyor (India) recognised by the Govt. of India.] to be …”
Rejecting the aforementioned contention, Court acknowledged that the arbitral issue involved between the parties can be adjudicated by a retired judge and must not be awaited for the want of technical expertise.[S.P. Singla Constructions v. Chief Engineer, 2021 SCC OnLine HP 1, decided on 01-01-2021]
Sakshi Shukla, Editorial Assistant ha sput this story together