Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill 2015: Nature of Amendments

Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill 2015: Nature of Amendments

Question: Union Cabinet has given approval for amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill 2015 taking the recommendations of the Law Commission into account. Discuss the nature of the amendments.

- To ensure arbitrator neutrality, section 12 of the Act shall be amended so that when person is approached about possible appointment of arbitrator, it should be disclosed in writing by him/her regarding the existence of relationship/interest which will lead to rise in justifiable doubts

- If a person has a specified relationship, he cannot be appointed as an arbitrator

- Insertion of a new provision in that the Arbitral Tribunal shall make its award within 12 months

- This may be extended up to six months and thereafter it can only be extended on sufficient cause by the court

- Court while extending this period may order reduction in arbitrator fees not more than 5% for each month of delay

- In case award is made within period of 6 months, additional fees may be given to arbitrators if parties agree

- A provision will be inserted for fast tracking the procedure for conducting arbitration and parties to the dispute agree to this. Award in such cases will be provided within a 6 month period

- Amendment of Section 34 pertaining to grounds for challenge of an arbitral award for restricting the term Public Policy of India or is it contravention with the fundamental policy of Indian Law or in conflict with notions of justice or morality, award should then be given the status of a public policy of India

- Fresh provision to provide that application to challenge the award is disposed off within one year, as per the amendment

- Amendment to Section 36 pertaining to mere filing of application for challenging the award would not lead to the staying of the execution of the award and awards can only be stayed when specific order is filed on an application by the party

- Fresh sub section in section 11 will be added indicating that application for appointment of Arbitrator should be disposed of by HC/SC in as expeditious a manner as possible within a period of 60 days

- Fresh Section 31 A will be added for providing comprehensive provisions for cost regime and it applies to arbitrators as well as related litigation in Court to avoid frivolous cases lacking in merit

- Section 17 will be amended for empowering the Arbitral tribunal to provide different types of interim measures under section 9 and orders will be enforceable in the same manner as court orders

Facts and Stats

Other amendments for making the arbitration process more effective include the following:

- Sections 2(1)(e) ,

- 2(1)(f)(iii),

- 7(4)(b),

- 8(1) and

- (2), 9, 11, 14(1), 23, 24, 25, 28(3), 31(7)(b), 34 (2A) 37, 48, 56 and in Section 57

- GoI aims at making arbitration more user friendly and cost effective under this mode
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