Clarification Sought On Section 29A of Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015

In the matter of Delphi TVS Diesel Systems Ltd v. Union of India,the recently promulgated Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 was before the the Division Bench of High Court of Madras on 24.11.2015.

The bench comprisingS.K. Kaul, C.J. and Pushpa Sathyanarayana, J. sought clarifictaion from Union of India on the following:

a. whether Section 29-A would be applicable to pending arbitrations or not, and if it is applicable to the pending arbitrations ?

b. whether the time period specified therein would commence from the date of the Ordinance.

c. whether the Law Commissions opinion was sought prior to the promulgation of the Ordinance with regard to introduction of Section 29-A.

d.reason of non-introduction of the proposed Section 85-A as recommended by the Law Commission, which dealt with the aspect as to prospective and retrospective operation of the various provisions.

What is Section 29 A ?

It is pertinent to note that Section 29-A mandates thatan award shall be made by the arbitral tribunal within the period of 12months from the date the arbitral tribunal enters upon the reference.

Whereas, the period may be further extended for a period not exceeding 6 months with the mutual consent of both the parties to an arbitration .

However, if the award is not made within the period of 12 months or the extended period of 6 months , then the mandate of the tribunal shall terminate unless the Court has, either prior to or after the expiry of the period so specified, extended the period.

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