Kerala High Court: A Division Bench of V. Chitambaresh, Satish Ninan, JJ., dismissed an appeal filed against the order of the lower court, whereby the award of arbitrator passed in an arbitration between the parties was decreed by the lower court.
The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the lower court was justified in passing a decree in furtherance of the award passed by the arbitrator.
The Court observed that the arbitrator had held the appellants liable for the delay caused in the completion of work as given under the contract between the parties. No material was produced before the Court or the arbitrator to prove that the delay which was caused can be attributed to the respondent contractor. Although it was an accepted fact that the arbitrator was supposed to carry out works beyond the expiry of contract but that was supposed to be done only on revised rates. The arbitrator had passed the award only after a careful consideration of the facts and circumstances which clearly show that the delay in completion of work was solely attributable to the appellants. Further, the respondent had sought damages for idling of men and machinery, which were duly given to him under the award passed by the arbitrator.
The Court held that in a case where the appellant fails to establish any fault on the part of the respondent in completing the work under contract, within a stipulated period, then the appeal for setting aside the award cannot be held maintainable. Resultantly, the Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the order of the lower court.[State of Kerala v. Indiramma, Arb. A. No. 52 of 2013, order dated 02-11-2018]