Yes, an arbitrator can be appointed by the Chief Executive Officer of Statutory Board even after the expiry of period of 30 days notice to him by the opposite party provided the opposite party has not invoked the jurisdiction of the Hon’ble High Court of the concerned place having jurisdiction over the matter, in the mean time. A similar matter came up for hearing before the Honourable Supreme Court of India in a case titled as Punj Lloyd Ltd. Vs. Petronet Mhb Ltd. Civil Appeal No. 2932 of 2005 (arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No. 23346 of 2004 decided on : 29-04-2005 in which appellant therein served a 30 days notice on the respondent demanding appointment of an Arbitrator and reference of disputes to him. The respondent failed to act.
On expiry of 30 days, the appellant moved the Chief Justice of the High Court for appointment of an Arbitrator under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 – As far as Section 11(6) concerned, if one party demands the opposite party to appoint an Arbitrator and the opposite party does not make an appointment within 30 days of the demand, the right of appointment does not get automatically forfeited after expiry of 30 days. If the opposite party makes an appointment even after 30 days of the demand, but before the first party has moved the High Court under Section 11, that would be sufficient – The order of the learned designated Judge and the order of the Division Bench are both set aside by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.