The Hon’ble Calcutta High Court in Rohan Builders (India) Pvt. Ltd v Berger Paints India Limited 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2645 recently deliberated on the issue of whether Courts can extend an arbitral tribunal’s mandate under Section 29A(4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“the Act”), after the mandate of the arbitral tribunal has been terminated.Continue Reading Extension under Section 29A of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 not a possibility if application for extension is not made while mandate subsisted
An arbitral award can be challenged by filing an application under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”). Ordinarily, along with the application to set aside an arbitral award, another application is filed under Section 36(2) of the Act seeking a stay on the operation of the award. Prior to the amendment to the Act in the year 2015, mere filing of an application under Section 34 of the Act would lead to an automatic stay on the enforcement of the award. However, pursuant to the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, Section 36(2) was amended to state that filing of an application to set aside an arbitral award shall not by itself render the award unenforceable and a specific order of stay of operation of the award shall have to be granted on a separate application being made for that purpose. Upon the filing of a separate application, seeking a stay on the operation of the arbitral award, the court may grant the stay, while imposing certain conditions, as it may deem fit. These conditions could entail either furnishing a bank guarantee or depositing cash with the court, to secure the arbitral award. The form and quantum of the security depends on the facts and circumstances of each case and is typically driven by the financial wherewithal and the conduct of the judgment debtor.Continue Reading Can a Challenge to an Arbitral Award be Dismissed for Non-Compliance with Conditions for Stay on Enforcement?
The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in M/s Arupri Logistics Pvt. Ltd v Shri Vilas Gupta & Ors.[i], has held that an arbitral tribunal, in the absence of any specific power to implead, does not have the authority or jurisdiction to implead parties to arbitral proceedings. The power to implead cannot be inferred from Sections 16, 17 or 19 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“the Act”). Further, the arbitral tribunal does not have any residual inherent powers under the Act either, which enables it to implead third parties in the interest of justice. The Hon’ble Court noted that the arbitral tribunal owes its origin principally to well recognised and identifiable sources such as the agreement between the parties, institutional rules or national statutes, therefore, the parties or the tribunal cannot vest itself with powers that are otherwise reserved to be exercised by courts and judicial institutions.Continue Reading Consent is King: Delhi HC Holds that Arbitral Tribunal Lacks Authority to Implead Third Parties
In a unique fact scenario, the sole arbitrator, in a domain name dispute between parties, named himself in the “Hall of Fame” for giving a particular type of decision in such disputes. Upon challenge to the arbitral award passed, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi exercised its powers under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“the Act”) and set it aside.
This article examines the reasoning given by the Hon’ble High Court to determine what would constitute a reasonable apprehension of bias, and the implications of a court setting aside arbitral awards on grounds of bias when an arbitrator has the “propensity” to pass certain types of orders.Continue Reading Not Always Beneficial To Make It To The “Hall Of Fame”: Dissecting Delhi High Court’s Decision In Microsoft V. Zoai
As with any legal proceeding, an arbitrator’s impartiality and independence is the bedrock of a fair and valid arbitration proceeding. In its recent decision in the case of Margo Networks Pvt Ltd & Anr. v. Railtel Corporation of India Ltd (“Margo v. Railtel”), the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi exercised its powers under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), with the intention to highlight the importance of appointing arbitrators in a manner that is unbiased and does not favour any one party.Continue Reading Delhi HC’s Margo V. Railtel Order: Analysing Impartiality in Arbitrator Appointments
The Delhi High Court, had recently in the case of National Highway Authority of India v. Trichy Thanjavur Expressway Ltd. O.M.P. (COMM) 95/2023 and Trichy Thanjavur Expressway Ltd. v. National Highway Authority of India O.M.P. (COMM) 106/2023 (collectively the “Trichy Thanjavur Expressway Matters”), invited counsels to advance submissions in relation to a court’s powers under Section 34 of the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), and more particularly on the power of courts to partially set aside arbitral awards.Continue Reading Determining the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ of Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act
On 18th May 2023, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court in B&T AG v. Ministry of Defence(“B&T”) ruled that mere negotiations, as in the case of a civil suit, will not postpone the cause of action for the purpose of computing limitation for initiation of arbitration.
This decision, although consistent with a long line of judgments in the context of computation of period of limitation for arbitral claims, waters down the progressive view taken by the Supreme Court in the case of Geo Miller & Co. Pvt. Ltd. v. Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd. (“Geo Miller”).Continue Reading Time spent in contractually mandated pre-arbitral negotiations not excluded – SC in B&T AG v Ministry of Defence
Recently, the Delhi High Court refused to hold a third-party funder liable for furnishing security in enforcement of a foreign award, ruling that the funder — not being either a party to the arbitration agreement, the arbitration, or the eventual award — could not be “mulcted with liability, which they have neither undertaken nor are aware of”. Continue Reading Third party Funding – A funder remains a ‘Third Party” and not a ‘Party’ to the arbitration or award