The Indian Parliament passed the Indian Arbitration & Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 (“Amendment Act”) in a bid to refresh and reform the existing arbitration regime under the existing Arbitration Act. Ironically, the Amendment Act spiralled new waves of persistent ambiguity and uncertainty regarding the applicability of these amendments to pending as well as fresh proceedings…

On 5 January 2018, the Central Government introduced New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018 (the “Bill”) in the lower house of Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha). This was with the objective of making India an investor-friendly nation. There are few arbitral institutions operating in India – Indian Council of Arbitration (“ICA”), International Centre for Alternative…

In the context of the backlash against investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”), one of the main criticisms is the asymmetric nature of investment treaties, which impose numerous obligations on the States, but do not seem to hold corporations accountable for the social, environmental and economic consequences of their activities. Some recent developments reflect a redirection away…

The (Indian) Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 does not specify which disputes are arbitrable and which are not. The arbitrability of disputes is a contested issue and has been left for the courts to decide on a case-by-case basis. In Himangni Enterprises v. Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia (“Himangni Enterprises”), the arbitrability of disputes under a lease…

Arbitration in India has traditionally skewed towards an ad-hoc rather than an institutional set up. Due to a lack of adequate emphasis on institutional arbitration, Indian parties have preferred to conduct their arbitrations with a seat in Singapore and London. In fact, 153 of the 307 cases administered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)…

The Delhi High Court (Court) recently rendered a decision in GMR v. Doosan (“GMR”) on two critical points related to Indian arbitration– a) joinder of non-signatories to arbitration and b) whether two Indian parties can choose a foreign seat. Both issues have had conflicting decisions from courts leading to confusion in jurisprudence. Did the Court’s…

On 1 November 2017, a division bench of the Supreme Court of India (hereinafter SCI) referred the matter between Venture Global Engineering LLC and Tech Mahindra Ltd. to a larger bench, in view of the diverging opinions emerging from the division bench. In substance, the SCI was looking at the legality of the order of…

Multi-party arbitrations arising out of multiple agreements between multiple parties containing different arbitration clauses give rise to complex issues to be answered by arbitral tribunals and Courts. While negotiating an agreement, parties rarely take into consideration the impact on the dispute resolution mechanism because of subsequent agreements with new parties. In a multi-party multi-agreement scenario,…

In India, the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 does not address the question of which categories of disputes are capable of resolution by arbitration, and those that are not. Instead, this question has arisen before and been decided by Indian courts, in a variety of different contexts. In recent times, Courts have determined arbitrability claims…

It is a fundamental principle in international arbitration that every arbitrator must be and remain independent and impartial of the parties and the dispute The issue of arbitrator independence, impartiality and neutrality has been a frequent source of contention in India. It is particularly rampant in disputes arising out of contracts executed before the amendment…

The decision of the Singapore Court of Appeal in Wilson Taylor Asia Pacific Pte Ltd v. Dyna-Jet Pte Ltd ([2017] SGCA 32) added another chapter to the debate on the validity of unilateral option clauses (or ‘sole option clauses’) in contracts. The Singapore Court of Appeal reaffirmed the Singapore High Court’s decision to uphold the…

Non-arbitrability of disputes is a ground for setting aside the arbitral awards under Sections 34(2)(b) and 48(2) of the Arbitration and Conciliation act 1996 (the “Act”), the award is against the public policy of India. Arbitrability, here, refers to the objective arbitrability of the disputes, i.e., whether the national law imposes any restriction on the…

This post critically examines the recent Supreme Court judgment in TRF Limited vs. Energo Engineering Private Limited where the court held that a person who is ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator cannot even nominate an arbitrator. This judgment was in the context of a unilateral arbitration clause (“unilateral clause”) in which one party…

The long-standing tax dispute between India and the Vodafone, also previously discussed in here,  recently entered new territory when India secured an ex-parte ad-interim injunction restraining the continuation of one of two bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”) arbitration proceedings initiated against it by the Vodafone group. A judge of the Delhi High Court granted this injunction on…

The decision of the Indian Supreme Court in A. Ayyasamy v. A. Paramasivam (‘Ayyasamy’) [(2016) 10 SCC 386] has been previously discussed on this blog here, and here. This post seeks to analyse the distinction between arbitrability of fraud concerning India-seated arbitrations and foreign-seated arbitrations created as a result of this judgment. The court in World…

As on May 1, 2017, 60751 cases were pending in the Indian Supreme Court. Likewise, as per the data available, a total of 41,53,957 cases are pending in the twenty-four High Courts in India. The rate at which these cases are disposed, for various reasons like the vacancies for the position of judges, inefficient procedures,…

The primary purpose of an arbitration clause is to represent the parties’ common agreement to resolve disputes arising out of their contractual relationship by arbitration. One-way arbitration clauses, however, serve this primary purpose while giving only one party the right to commence arbitration proceedings. Consequently, the other party only has the option of approaching a…

These two-parts blog posts look into the ways that states can control the exercise of tribunals’ discretion and their implications. Of course, states can prevent unintended results from happening by simply adding more specific language to their new BITs. But what can they do with the existing treaties? Due process concerns Joint interpretative statements, as…

There are around 3,000 bilateral investment treaties (BIT) in force worldwide. Most of them are concise with broadly formulated investor rights and host state obligations. In practice, it is up to arbitral tribunals to give them the actual meaning. Many of those BITs are now being revisited. This recast movement comes from the policy concern…

On 29th December 2016, the Government of India constituted a High-Level Committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. Justice B N Srikrishna, Retired Judge, Supreme Court of India. The Committee was constituted pursuant to the Government’s commitment to speedy resolution of commercial disputes and to make India an international hub of arbitration. The terms of reference…

India has long been regarded as an unappealing centre for arbitration – be it as the seat of arbitration or as the place of final enforcement of the arbitral award. Indian judiciary is often quoted to be over interfering in matters of arbitration and enforcement. If fact could replace fiction, in the last decade, Shylock…

The ability of a party to obtain urgent interim relief is central to the efficacy of any method of dispute resolution. In case of disputes that are subject to an arbitration agreement, until recently parties had only two options: either approach national courts for interim relief in support of the arbitration, or wait for the…

Coincidentally, at the same time last year, the world witnessed two historical developments. First, Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States. Second, in an attempt to curb black money (a move, the result of which is still to be evaluated), the Modi-led Government demonetised 500 and 1000 currency notes in India. Even…

Appellate arbitration clauses provide for an appellate mechanism against an award rendered between the concerned parties by subjecting the dispute through another arbitration to eliminate all potential errors and obtain correction of the same. Not all arbitration disputes are suitable for an appellate review. But in cases where parties place higher importance on the correctness…