The Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 had been amended with effect from 23rd October, 2015 for speedy disposal of Arbitral Proceedings in India . For the first time, a time limit has been fixed for completion of arbitration proceedings in India by way of insertion of Section 29A in the act.
The arbitration proceedings in India including multi-jurisidictional arbitration with seat in India will be very speedy and at par with arbitration proceedings in SIAC i.e Sinapore International Arbitration Centre.
A close study of Section 29A of arbitration and conciliation act 1996 as amended, reveals the following :
Responsibility on arbitral tribunal – A responsibility has been cast upon the arbitral tribunal to ensure a speedy completion of arbitration proceedings.
Award within 12 months – The award have got to be passed within 12 months , from the date when the arbitral tribunal enters upon the reference.
Extension of time period – Where, no award could be passed within 12 months , then the parties may extend the time further for a period not exceeding 6 months for passing of the award.
Suo moto termination of mandate of arbitrator – If the award is not passed within the specified 12 months or within further extended period of 6 months i.e in total period of 18 months , then the mandate of the arbitrator will be suo moto terminated .
Application to Court for extension of time – Any party can file an application in Court for extension of time . The said application shall be disposed within 60 days after service of notice to the opposite party .
Court can extend time on sufficient Cause only- Where any of the party files an application , in Court , with sufficient cause of delay , then the Court may extend further time of the arbitral tribunal.Court can penalise in fees for delay – Where Court finds that the proceedings have been delayed for the reasons attributable to the arbitral tribunal, then, it may order reduction of fees of arbitrator(s) by not exceeding 5% for each month of such delay.
Court can substitute the arbitral tribunal – Where , an arbitral tribunal fails to deliver the award even after passage of 18 months i.e prescribed 12 months plus 6months extended period , then a court of law can substitute the previous arbitral tribunal with one arbitrator or with a completely new arbitral tribunal as well.
Substituted arbitral tribunal to proceed in continuation – The substituted arbitral tribunal shall proceed and continue from the stage already reached by the previous arbitral tribunal .
Deeming provision for substituted arbitral tribunal – The substituted arbitral tribunal shall be deemed to have received all the evidences and materials which were already on record with the previous arbitral tribunal.
Cost may be imposed on any party by Court – Where an extension of period is sought from the Court , then an actual or exemplary costs may be imposed by the Court on any of the party as well.
AMLEGALS considers that this change will enhane the confidence of domestic and international business houses in ease of doing business in India . It will further result speedy arbitration proceedingin India and at par with with an international institutional arbitration in SIAC as well.
For more details on speedy arbitration proceeding in India , please connect on firstname.lastname@example.org .