On 25 January 2020, India and Brazil signed an Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Treaty, in the presence of the Brazilian president Jair Messias Bolsonaro. Arguably the most prominent of the 3 BITs that India has signed since adopting the model BIT in December 2015. The new treaty articulates several provisions (briefly discussed below) in departure…

During the recent visit of Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, to India, Brazil and India inked the investment cooperation and facilitation treaty (hereinafter bilateral investment treaty – BIT). From Brazil’s point of view, this BIT is an extension of a novel approach to foreign investment in international law based on investment facilitation and cooperation, not investment protection…

Most of the contemporary discourses on pre-arbitral judicial interference in India entail the scope of the judicial enquiry required before the constitution of an arbitral tribunal. As it currently stands, Section 8 (for arbitrations seated in India) and Section 45 (for foreign-seated arbitrations) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“1996 Act”) have the potential…

The issue of unilateral appointment of a sole arbitrator by a party has been in the spotlight since the Supreme Court of India’s (“SC”) decision in Perkins Eastman Architects DPC & Anr. v. HSCC (India) Ltd. (“Perkins”) on 26 November 2019. This case largely puts the issue to rest by rendering unilateral sole arbitrator appointments…

A 3-day International Conference on Construction Law & Arbitration was held in December 2019 in New Delhi, co-hosted by the Society of Construction Law-India and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators-India. During the course of their presentations, the panelists discussed various topics ranging from trends in construction law in the context of arbitration across global jurisdictions…

The automatic stay provisions in the Indian arbitration regime have been a matter of a long debate. At first blush, the automatic stay seems like the perfect protection mechanism for any award debtor; however, it often puts the award creditor in a difficult spot. Arbitral awards rarely go unchallenged in India. The automatic stay provision…

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on his recent visit to India in January 2020 remarked that the 21st century belongs to India. If that is true, it would also mean a flurry of disputes involving some Indian angle are inevitable and will keep the arbitration industry busy. Thus, even though 2019 may have drawn curtains over…

Section 29A was inserted, by way of amendments to the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act (the Act), in the year 2015. With the introduction of this provision, the time-period for passing the award has been fixed at twelve months from the date the arbitral tribunal enters upon reference and is extendable by another six months…

This post covers an interesting discourse during the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s Summit in New Delhi on 30 and 31 August 2019. In particular, the post focuses on the discussions during Panel Session 1: ‘Masterclass on the use of Institutional Procedures in Arbitration’ held on the second day of the summit. This session was moderated…

Introduction In a previous post, I had surmised whether the Indian courts’ tryst with the group of companies doctrine (“Doctrine”) in the arbitration context is a harbinger or aberration. If the Indian Supreme Court (“SC”) decisions in Reckitt Benckiser v. Reynders Label Printing, decided on 1 July 2019 (“Reynders Label”), and MTNL v. Canara Bank, decided on 8…

With cross-border dispute resolution on the rise, currency variations and exchange rate fluctuations remain a concern in enforcement of foreign awards and decrees. It is not unusual for courts and arbitral tribunals to render judgments and awards in a foreign currency, which is required to be enforced in India in Indian rupees (“INR”). Consequent to…

Class action suits were introduced in India by the 2013 Companies Act, with the hope that costs of litigation might reduce in comparison to individual cases. However, not a single class action case has been filed in the past five years. This suggests that litigation is currently not serving the interests of shareholders. Given arbitration’s…

The Arbitration & Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 (“the 2019 Amendment”), which amends the Indian Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (“the Act”), came into force with effect from 9 August 2019. The Law Minister of India was recently quoted as saying in one of the press releases (after the Bill in support of the 2019 Amendment…

With the rise of e-contracts and smart contracts in commercial transactions globally, it becomes important to analyse developments in ADR such as blockchain arbitration. The concept of blockchain arbitration is very recent and it seeks to use the advantages of the technology in dispute resolution (how blockchain arbitration works can be read here). However, one…

Introduction The juxtaposition of laws that seemingly operate in different domains has posed a continual challenge to arbitration – conventionally, in the form of concerns over arbitrability of disputes. Here, arbitrability connotes the notion that a dispute, by its nature, is capable of being adjudicated beyond public fora, through a private tribunal chosen by parties….

The decision of the Supreme Court of India (“SC”) in Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. v. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) (“Ssansyong”), has led to three notable developments: (1) it clarifies the scope of the “public policy” ground for setting aside an award as amended by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015…

The question whether two Indian parties can choose a foreign seat of arbitration has become far too obfuscated with some recent judicial pronouncements. This article seeks to argue that the scheme of Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act (“Act”) itself does not permit it. In India, enforcement of arbitral awards is covered in two parts under…

The Indian Supreme Court recently in M/s Icomm Tele Ltd. vs. Punjab State Water Supply & Sewerage Board,  (“Icomm”), struck down a clause in an arbitration agreement as unconstitutional. The clause mandated a pre-deposit of 10% of the amount claimed in the arbitration proceeding. The Court found this clause to be arbitrary and resulting in…

What is the meaning of “existence”? While theologians and philosophers continue to debate this endlessly, this metaphysical question has also concerned Indian arbitration law, specifically Section 11(6A) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”). It was thought that the scope of a court’s intervention when appointing an arbitrator was solidified via the 2015 Amendment…

In Part I of the post, we discussed the position of law on the “existence” test under Section 11(6A) of the Act. In Part II, we aim to provide context to the developments relating to the provision and understand the larger picture of the judicial trend. But first, on the basis of the decisions discussed…

Modern day arbitration agreements usually contain provisions that require parties to take certain steps before the commencement of arbitration. Such clauses, often described as “multi-tiered” clauses, set out a sequence for invoking the arbitration agreement. Typically, pre-arbitration steps include procedures such as time-bound mediations, amicable settlements, cooling-off periods, and other forms of non-binding determinations. Despite…

  For a country with a significant corpus of the world’s personal data, India’s data protection framework is notoriously deficient. Improperly scoped, imprecisely drafted, and with no real enforcement culture, the extant framework often tends to create more problems than it solves. With a view towards overhauling this framework, the Government of India, in July…

“Conversation – respectful, engaged, reciprocal, calling forth some of our greatest powers of empathy and understanding – is the moral form of a world governed by the dignity of difference.” Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Dignity of Difference, quoted by Ian Macduff in “Signs of hope” Following on from yesterday’s post, this second post offers…

Introduction The Delhi High Court’s recent judgment in Union of India v. Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) marks the third instance of an Indian court adjudicating upon issues related to arbitration under an international investment treaty. Within these three judgments, courts have fundamentally disagreed on a crucial point – the applicability of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,…