Dispute Resolution

Latest Arbitration Cases in India

In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile arbitration cases in India. This is due, in part, to the increasing awareness of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism. Arbitration offers a number of advantages over other methods of dispute resolution, such as litigation.

Arbitration: What is Arbitration?

Section 2a of The Arbitration and Conciliation act, 1996 defines Arbitration as “arbitration,” which means any arbitration whether or not administered by a permanent arbitral institution.

Current Scenario: Arbitration

In today’s world, Arbitration is one of the most sought out methods played by companies to solve their disputes. Among the various ADRs, Arbitration tends to be an effective means of resolving conflicts among the parties. This is due to the power of arbitrators (Adjudicators) to determine the grievance and pass a decision. Arbitration is different from mediation and negotiations. In this, the parties have no say on the solution achieved by the arbitral tribunal. The decision given by the arbitration tribunal is final and of binding nature.

Arbitration is a part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism that helps the parties to achieve an out-of-court settlement. Arbitration is a form of ADR which allows the parties to resolve their dispute without Litigation.

Latest Cases on Arbitration Law

Amazon.Com NV Investment Holdings LLC v. Future Coupons Private Limited & Ors[1]

Question by the Court: Whether an ‘Emergency Arbitrator’ an arbitrator within the meaning of Section 2(1) (d) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act?

Held: The Court gave the verdict that the hypothesis of an emergency arbitrator is solely based on the aggrieved parties. This is the autonomy given to the parties to choose an arbitrator or an arbitral institution freely.

Moreover, the emergency arbitrator is an arbitrator for all purposes. The order of the emergency arbitrator is obligatory to the parties. However, the arbitral tribunal has the power to terminate, modify, and reconsider the emergency arbitrator’s decisions.

Also, the Court concluded the emergency arbitrator being enforceable u/s 17(1) and enforceable as an order of the Court under Section 17(2) of the Act.

Indus Biotech Private Limited v. Kotak India Venture (Offshore) Fund & Ors[2]

Question by the Court: Will any application filed under Section 8 of the Arbitration Act, 1996 will be maintainable if a petition under Section 7 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code is pending?

Held: The SC held that after the admittance of a petition under Section 7 of IBC, no application u/s 8 of the Arbitration Act is continuable. But if there is no admittance of petition u/s 7, the application is under the filing u/s 8. Then, the authority must first decide the application u/s 7 and if they are satisfied, keep the application u/s 8 for consideration.

PASL Wind Solutions Private Limited V GE Power Conversion India Private Limited[3]

Question by the Court: Whether two Indian parties can choose a foreign seat of Arbitration?

Held: SC decides in this case that the aggrieved parties have the autonomy to determine the follow-up of both substantive and procedural law. Thus, two parties have the right to choose a foreign seat of Arbitration.

Panipat Jalandhar NH-1 Tollway Pvt Ltd vs National Highways Authority of India[4]

Question by the Court: Can the Division Bench dispose of in entirety the proceedings under Section 9 of the Act which were pending before the Single Judge?

Held: The decision given in this case is inappropriate for the Division Bench to dispose of an application u/s 9 being pending before the Single Judge.

 SPML Infra Ltd v. NTPC Limited[5]

Question by the Court: Whether the dispute relating to the innovation of contract required to be examined by the Arbitral Tribunal or by the Court u/s 11?

Held: The Court held that once it establishes the parties in the arbitration agreement, the courts must make sure that the parties opt for Arbitration to adjudicate the dispute.

Shapoorji Pallonji and Co Pvt Ltd v. Rattan India Power Ltd & Anr[6]

Question by the Court: Can a party be compelled to arbitrate even though it is not a signatory to the contract?

Held: The Delhi High Court held that a non-signatory with direct involvement in the contract is compellable to Arbitration.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd & Anr v. M/S Nortel Networks India Pvt Ltd[7]

Question by the Court: What is the time limit for recording an application u/s 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996?

Held: The Court enables the time limit for filing the application u/s 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, under the governance of Article 137 of the Limitation Act.

Pravin Electricals Pvt Ltd v. Galaxy Infra And Engineering Pvt Ltd[8]

Question by the Court: Is the scope of Section 11 confined to examining the existence of an arbitration agreement?

Held: The proceedings u/s 11 are summary and preliminary and not a mini-trial. Taking in Vidya Drolia v. Durga Trading Corporation[9], the Court has decided on a prima facie review, which being inconclusive, needs a more detailed examination, and the arbitration tribunal must determine the final decision.

Moreover, the expression “existence of an arbitration agreement” in Section 11 of the Act must have the validation of an arbitration agreement.

Sanjiv Prakash v. Seema Kukreja And Ors.[10]

Question by the Court: What is the scope of powers of the Court under Section 11 of the Arbitration Act, 1996?

Held: the SC, in this case, gives the observation on section 11. The SC states that at section 11 stage, the Court cannot entertain an elaborate review of the facts or mini-trial and the law which usurps the justice of the arbitration tribunal

City Lifeline Travels Private Limited v. Delhi Jal Board[11]

Question by the Court: Whether the decision in the case of Perkins Eastman Architects DPC & Anr. v. HSCC (India) Limited [12]ought to be read in a restrictive manner?

Held: observation by the SC is the decision on the case as mentioned above. It states the efficacy of Arbitration and how it is an ADR mechanism that rests on the foundation of disputes. Impartial and independent arbitrators must adjudicate it. Thus, the decision of the case as mentioned above must be read in an expansive manner, not in a restrictive way.

Surender Kumar Singhal & Ors v. Arun Kumar Bhalotia & Ors[13] 

Question by the Court: Can a jurisdictional objection u/s 16 of the Act be decided ‘while passing the award’?

Held: the Delhi High Court’s observation is about the preliminary issue of section 16. It states that the arbitration tribunal must decide the objection u/s 16 as soon as possible. Also, there must be an adjudication of the question of the jurisdiction before passing the final award.

Jeph Bev Private Limited & Ors v. Delhi International Arbitration Centre & Ors[14]

Question by the Court: Whether Rule 20 of the Delhi International Arbitration Centre (Arbitration Proceedings) Rules, 2018 be equated with Section 16 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996?

Held: the decision by the Delhi High Court is that the IAC is not equitable u/s 16 of this Act. However, this rule only deals with DIAC’s competence and not the competency of the arbitration tribunal.

[1] CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 4492-4493 OF 2021

[2] Civil Appeal No.1070 /2021

[3] CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1647  OF 2021

[4] Civil Appeal No 1691 of 2021

[5] ARB.P, 477 of 2020(judgment dated 08.04.2021)

[6] ARB. P. 716/2019(judgment dated 07.04.2021)

[7] CIVIL APPEAL Nos. 843-844 OF 2021

[8] CIVIL APPEAL NO. 825 OF 2021

[9] CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2402 OF 2019

[10] CIVIL APPEAL NO. 975 OF 2021

[11] ARB.P.4/2021

[12] ARB.P. 32/2019

[13] CM (M) 1272/2019(judgment dated 25.03.2021)

[14] W.P.(C) 1478/2021

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