• Annual Arbitration Review- 2017,  Arbitration

    Indus Mobile Distribution Private Limited v. Datawind Innovations Private Limited: Seat Confers Exclusive Jurisdiction

    Reading Time: 4 minutes This decision rules that assignment of a seat of arbitration is akin to conferment of an exclusive jurisdiction clause. Therefore, even when there is a neutral seat of arbitration, and cause of action is somewhere else, courts in the seat of arbitration would enjoy exclusive jurisdiction. This should prevent the multiplicity of proceedings and/or forum shopping.

  • Annual Arbitration Review- 2017,  Arbitration

    M/s. Duro Felguera, S.A v. M/s. Gangavaram Port Limited: Position of Courts with Respect to Appointment of Arbitrators

    Reading Time: 4 minutes This landmark case clarifies the position of courts with respect to the appointment of arbitrators in matters related to arbitration in reference documents. Taking a narrow approach, the court interpreted the Section 11(6A) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) to allow courts the power only to see if an arbitration agreement exists in the first place or not, ‘nothing more, nothing less’. This case shows that when a contract is split into multiple agreements for the sake of convenience incorporation of an arbitration clause by reference needs to be drafted cautiously to avoid problems of dispute settlement in case of arbitration.

  • Annual Arbitration Review- 2017

    Chittaranjan Maity v. Union of India : Award of interest under section 31(7)a of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

    Reading Time: 4 minutes The following case discusses the stage at which the arbitrability of a dispute can be brought. The Court held that the Division Bench was not justified in hearing the challenge on arbitrability of the dispute in light of the failure of the Respondent to raise the plea at the first instance before the Single Judge in the High Court or the Arbitral Tribunal. Further the Court upheld the law under section 31(7)(a) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (“A&C Act”), which allows the Arbitral Tribunal to pass an award for interest of pre-award period and pendent lite. However, in this case the agreement itself prevented…

  • Consensual Dispute Resolution

    Decoding the Mandatory Mediation rule: An Analysis of Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015

    Reading Time: 4 minutes Section 12A was inserted in the Commercial Courts Act 2015 by way of the “The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Court (Amendment) Ordinance of 2018.” The main aim of this insertion was to ensure that the remedy of pre-institution mediation is exhausted before the filing of any commercial disputes. This was a conscious step taken so as to hope that it would help India’s ranking in the Ease of doing business index. This report is released and tabulated by the World Bank. Section 12A(1) of the Act clearly iterates that any suit that would not contemplate any urgent relief under the Act…

  • Annual Arbitration Review- 2017,  Arbitration

    Union of India v. Simplex Infrastructure: Applicability of Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

    Reading Time: 2 minutes This is a landmark case about the application of Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 (herein referred to as the “statute”). It clarified the position of law that an appeal could be allowed only against the setting aside of an arbitral award or refusal to set it aside under Section 37(1)(c). However, there was no appeal against an order of condonation of delay by a court of competent jurisdiction under Section 34. Thus, no intra-court appeal against condonation of delay by a Single Judge in an application to set aside an arbitral award is allowed.

  • Arbitration

    The Arbitrability Conundrum : An Assessment of Non-Arbitrability Of Lease Disputes in India

    Reading Time: 3 minutes Introduction- India is considered to be a pro-arbitration centre by the world and is shaping its Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) in order to become a hub for arbitration world-wide. There have been many improvements in the Act in order to achieve its goal but it is paradoxical that the horizon of disputes which are non-arbitrable have increased, one among them is lease disputes. The Issue of Arbitrability: The Arbitration and Conciliation Act does not specify which disputes are arbitrable or which are not. This issues has been left for the Courts to deliberate upon. 1) It was in Natraj Studio’s case[1] where the landlord…

  • Annual Arbitration Review- 2017,  Arbitration

    Himangni Enterprises v. Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia: Arbitrability of Lease Disputes

    Reading Time: 6 minutes This case deals with the non-arbitrability of disputes pertaining to tenancy/eviction/rent matters, which in effect cements the list of non-arbitrable disputes laid down in the Booz-Allen case.[2] By applying the list laid down in Booz-Allen by a straight jacket formula, the court has taken a decision overlooking the intention of the parties. Party autonomy has yet again taken a back seat and an anti-arbitration approach has been taken by The Apex Court. This judgement becomes important in the context of parties intending to include an arbitration clause in their lease deed, which in effect would become redundant.

  • Consensual Dispute Resolution

    Lok Adalat: A Brief Overview

    Reading Time: 5 minutes At the time of the formal adoption of the Indian Constitution in 1950, there existed a unified structure of courts and laws, which were left undisturbed, as their removal or modification would have signified the upheaval of the entire judicial structure. Disputes of all citizens were settled through a well-defined and recognised system of litigation. The courts have formal rules for settlement of disputes and their decision is binding on the parties, but is subject to appeal to the higher court. The system is highly technical and formal, and the judge controls the proceedings as well as the outcome of the litigation. However, litigation does not…

  • Annual Arbitration Review- 2017,  Arbitration

    Kores v. Arnav: Fraud and Forgery under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

    Reading Time: 5 minutes This is a landmark case on the validity of arbitration agreements in general. Though the question of fraud and forgery was not specifically discussed by the court, its stand on the validity of such agreements in contracts has set the tone for courts across the country when the facts are suspicious about the veracity of such agreements.