Fraud-Related Disputes Arbitrable: Bombay High Court

Arbitrability of a dispute is a key factor in any arbitration, as it establishes the jurisdictional reach of an arbitral tribunal. In Booze Allen and Hamilton Inc. v. SBI Home Finance Ltd.,[1] the Supreme Court stated that the disputes dealing with rights in personam are arbitrable, but those pertaining to rights in rem are not as they can affect the public.Continue Reading Fraud-Related Disputes Arbitrable: Bombay High Court

Deciphering Court Fee Refunds: A Comparative Analysis of Settlement via ADR v. Private Settlement

Introduction

In the Indian jurisprudence, the levy of court fee is inter alia sanctioned by the Court Fees Act, 1870 (“Court Fee Act”) for the purpose of instituting a suit or claim by a party to the matter or litigation. The payment of court fee is a condition precedent for seeking the aid of the court. The amount to be paid as court fee is prescribed by law and until the pre-determined amount is paid, the litigant cannot be heard, save with the leave of the court. However, if the parties to a suit come to a mutual understanding to resolve the dispute amicably, the law also prescribes for a procedure for providing a refund of the previously paid court fee by the litigant. The only remaining question that begs determination is when and how much of the court fee will be refunded to the litigant.Continue Reading Deciphering Court Fee Refunds: A Comparative Analysis of Settlement via ADR v. Private Settlement

Final Word on Enforceability of Unstamped Arbitration Agreements

“It [law of arbitration] is to be expeditious where the law is slow, cheap where the law is costly, simple where the law is technical, a peacemaker instead of a stirrer-up of strife.”[1]

Are arbitration clauses in unstamped or inadequately stamped agreements enforceable? This is a question that has been under legal scrutiny and has seen conflicting views from various constitutional benches of the Supreme Court for over half a decade.Continue Reading Final Word on Enforceability of Unstamped Arbitration Agreements

Obviating Hurdles for Swifter Execution of Arbitral Awards

Context

In India, execution of decrees is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (‘CPC’), and execution of arbitration awards is governed by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘1996 Act’), and the CPC. For the purposes of enforcement, both domestic and foreign awards (recognition and enforcement thereof) are treated as decree of Court. This legal fiction also applies to consent awards, which are obtained after settlement is entered between parties. Domestic awards, which are basically India-seated arbitral awards, are governed by Part I of the 1996 Act, while foreign awards, which are foreign seated arbitral awards, are governed by Part II of the 1996 Act.Continue Reading Obviating Hurdles for Swifter Execution of Arbitral Awards

Can Directors Be Made Parties to Arbitration Proceedings Following the Underlying Rationale of Group of Companies Doctrine? Delhi High Court Explains

Introduction

Agreement to arbitrate – through a clause in a master or a separate agreement – forms the crux of arbitration. Processes like arbitration depend entirely on parties’ written consent to arbitration agreements. Great importance is attached to party autonomy – autonomie de la volonté.[1] This age-old principle continues to be at the centre of any arbitration agreement; however, ascertaining the consent of a party, more specifically a non-signatory party, to an arbitration agreement has been up for debate.Continue Reading Can Directors Be Made Parties to Arbitration Proceedings Following the Underlying Rationale of Group of Companies Doctrine? Delhi High Court Explains

An Analysis of Limitation for Appointment of Arbitrator Under Section 11 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996

Introduction

In order to foster quick resolution, efficiency and flexibility are the cornerstones of arbitration. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“the Act”) [1], provides for strict limitations at most stages of the arbitral process. Naturally, Section 11 with its glaring lack of prescribed limitation at the stage of appointment appears conspicuous and almost at odds with the scheme of the Act.Continue Reading An Analysis of Limitation for Appointment of Arbitrator Under Section 11 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996

Section 8 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996, Does Not Envisage Making of a Separate Application If Due Objection is Made Before the Court to its Jurisdiction

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in Madhu Sudan Sharma & Ors. v. Omaxe Ltd.[1]recently held that once a party has taken objection in its written statement to the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the suit due to the presence of the arbitration clause between the parties, it would amount to sufficient compliance of Section 8 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (“the Act”). The Court also held that once a party extracts an arbitration clause in its written submission to object to the jurisdiction of the Court, a separate application under Section 8 of the Act would not be necessary.Continue Reading Section 8 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996, Does Not Envisage Making of a Separate Application If Due Objection is Made Before the Court to its Jurisdiction

Extension of Mandate of Arbitral Tribunal under Section 29A(4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996: A Primer for Practitioners

INTRODUCTION

Section 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), inserted vide theAmending Act of 2015 (w.e.f. 23.10.2015), was meant to introduce time limit for completion of arbitration proceedings. It prescribed a statutory period of 12 (twelve) months from the date the arbitral tribunal enters upon reference. Thereafter, vide the Amending Act of 2019 (w.e.f. 30.08.2019), the prescribed time limit was modified, and the Act required arbitration proceedings to be completed within 12 (twelve) months from the date of completion of pleadings. Further, sub-section (3) of Section 29A of the Act allows an extension of 6 (six) months by mutual consent of the parties for passing the award. Similarly, sub-section (4) of Section 29A of the Act provides that in the event the award is not passed in terms of Section 29A(1) or within the extended period of Section 29A(3), the parties can make an application to the court for extension of mandate of the arbitral tribunal.Continue Reading Extension of Mandate of Arbitral Tribunal under Section 29A(4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996: A Primer for Practitioners

SC rules on applicability of doctrine of ‘group of companies’ in arbitration jurisprudence

Introduction

Consent by way of consensus-ad-idem and party autonomy are so deeply entrenched as the foundational or grundnorm principles of arbitration, that any material deviation therefrom is likely to pose challenges. One such challenge is the introduction of the doctrine of ‘group of companies’ in the jurisprudence of Indian arbitration, whereunder an arbitration agreement is extended, under certain conditions, to even non-signatory companies of the same group. In the words of Dr. Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Hon’ble CJI, it is “a modern theory which challenges the conventional notions of arbitration law.”Continue Reading SC rules on applicability of doctrine of ‘group of companies’ in arbitration jurisprudence

Devas v Antrix: fraud as a ground for setting aside an arbitral award: unique outlier or a sign of things to come?

INTRODUCTION

‘Fraud vitiates all’ is a legal principle firmly embedded in the Indian jurisprudence. An iteration of this principle also finds place in the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), in Section 34(2)(b)(ii), whereunder an arbitral award can be challenged for being in ‘conflict with public policy of Indian Law’, inter alia if “the making of the award was induced or affected by fraud”.Continue Reading Devas v Antrix: fraud as a ground for setting aside an arbitral award: unique outlier or a sign of things to come?