Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Background

Interim measures act as significant procedural safeguards in ensuring the efficacy of the arbitration process. They serve to protect the rights of parties from the inception of the dispute till the execution of the final award. In India, interim measures may be granted in three stages i.e. before the commencement of arbitration proceedings, during the pendency of arbitration proceedings and after the passing of the arbitral award, but before its enforcement.[1]

Continue Reading Section 9(2) of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996: A Ticking Clock on Invocation of Arbitrations in India

Arbitral Award

I. Introduction

One of the quintessential features of an arbitration friendly jurisdiction is a robust award enforcement mechanism. Often such enforcement mechanisms are determined by the interpretation of ‘public policy’ of each jurisdiction. In India, the trajectory of public policy has witnessed dramatic advancements, resulting in a much narrower scope and ambit of interpretation. Consequently, Indian courts have adopted a pro-enforcement stance and this pattern can be observed even in the arbitral awards that have been passed in disputes relating to exchange control laws and securities regulations.

Continue Reading Enforcement of a Foreign Arbitral Award: Calcutta High Court Contextualises Fundamental Policy of Indian Law

Arbitration

INTRODUCTION

Recently, in the case of Gyan Prakash Arya vs. Titan Industries Limited[1], the Supreme Court enunciated the limited scope of an arbitral tribunal’s power under Section 33 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the Act). The Court has authoritatively clarified that such power can only be exercised to correct clerical and/or arithmetic errors (and errors of similar nature).

Continue Reading The Supreme Court Clarifies: The Power Under Section 33 is Limited to Rectifying Clerical/ Arithmetical Errors

Dispute

The Supreme Court of India in Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. v. M/s. Shree Ganesh Petroleum Rajgurunagar,[1] recently ruled that an award enhancing the rent payable under a separate agreement was liable to be set aside under Section 34(2)(a)(iv) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”), on the basis that the award was based on a dispute beyond the scope of submission to arbitration. The theme of what would be within the province of a tribunal or otherwise has often been the subject matter of challenges. For example, in Satyanarayana Construction Company v. Union of India & Others[2], the Supreme Court ruled that if the underlying contract fixed a rate of interest, an arbitrator could not rewrite its terms and award a higher rate.

Continue Reading Indian Oil Corporation v. Shree Ganesh Petroleum: An arbitral tribunal’s powers to do justice are circumscribed by contract

Arbitration

Post the 2015 Amendment, the powers of the Arbitral Tribunal under Section 17 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), are at par with and akin to the powers of the Court under Section 9 of the Act. Whilst the non-filing of the Statement of Claim did not serve as an impediment to the Courts granting interim reliefs under Section 9, the question on whether an Arbitral Tribunal is empowered to grant interim reliefs under Section 17 in the absence of a Statement of Claim remained unclear.

Continue Reading Statement of Claim not sine qua non to Filing an Application under Section 17

Arbitration Agreement

Background

Kompetenz-kompetenz, allowing the arbitral tribunal to rule on its own jurisdiction, is one of the fundamental principles of arbitration. In Indian arbitration law, this is captured in Section 16 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”). This is further emphasised in Indian Farmer Fertilizer Cooperative Limited v. Bhadara Products (2018) 2 SCC 534 (“IFFCO Judgment”), wherein the Supreme Court has held that ‘jurisdiction’ mentioned in Section 16 has reference to three things: (1) existence of a valid arbitration agreement, (2) whether arbitral tribunal is properly constituted and (3) whether matters submitted to arbitration are in accordance with the arbitration agreement. Clearly, the existence of a valid arbitration agreement falls within the scope of jurisdictional matters to be determined by the arbitral tribunal.

Continue Reading Scope of Scrutiny of An Arbitration Agreement in a Section 9 Petition Filed before Commencement of Arbitral Proceedings

TIME IS THE ESSENCE OF THIS CONTRACT - IS IT REALLY

INTRODUCTION

Negotiated, as also standard format contracts, are rife with clauses proclaiming time is of the essence. Parties are usually rest assured after spelling this out, hoping (nay assured) that such words employed would by themselves be adequate to enforce rights through a Court or an arbitral process. Sadly, mere words are usually never enough.

The Supreme Court, in the recent judgement of Welspun Specialty Solution Limited vs. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.[i], has reiterated the principles basis which Courts are required to construe whether time is of the essence of a contract. The Court held that a collective reading of the entire contract and its surrounding circumstances is imperative to come to such a conclusion. Merely having an explicit clause in the contract may not be sufficient to make time the essence of it. The Court also held that the availability of extension procedures to fulfil obligations under a contract, along with consequent imposition of liquidated damages, are good indicators to hold that time is not of the essence.
Continue Reading Time is the Essence of this Contract: Is it Really?

Arbitral Tribunal

INTRODUCTION

Recently, in the case of Godrej Properties Ltd. v. Goldbricks Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.[i], the Hon’ble Bombay High Court has held that an arbitral tribunal cannot pass ex-parte orders on the mere filing of an Application under Section 17 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the Act) without giving the parties an opportunity to be heard. The Court has further distinguished the powers of an arbitral tribunal to pass interim orders under the Act from those enjoyed by a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC).

Continue Reading Parties to be Given an Advance Notice of Hearing – The Bombay High Court Sets Aside an Ex-Parte Order Passed by the Arbitral Tribunal

SC expands the scope of judicial inquiry under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Introduction

A two judge bench of the Supreme Court has recently passed a landmark judgment, expanding the scope of judicial inquiry under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, (“Act”), in DLF Home Developers Limited v. Rajapura Homes Private Limited & Anr[1] and DLF Home Developers Limited v. Begur OMR Homes Private Limited & Anr[2].

Continue Reading SC expands the scope of judicial inquiry under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Interim Application Already Considered by Court

Introduction

Recently, the Supreme Court in Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India Ltd. v. Essar Bulk Terminal Ltd.,[1] (“Arcelor-Essar Judgment”) held that the bar on the Court from entertaining interim applications under Section 9(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) was applicable only if the application  had not been taken up for consideration at the time of the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal. However, if the Court had heard the application even in part, and had applied its mind to it, it could decide to proceed with the adjudication of the same.

Continue Reading Interim Application Already Considered by Court? Section 9(3) of the Arbitration Act to Not Apply