ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 and Judicial Interventions

The signifi cance of enacting the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 is highlighted. The failure of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to control excessive judicial intervention and undue delays in the arbitration proceedings are explained to establish the context for legislating the Arbitration Act, 2015. The instances of excessive judicial intervention in arbitration are analysed and supported with relevant judicial decisions. The role of the Law Commission of India in revamping the arbitration law is also highlighted.

The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the anonymous reviewer for valuable suggestions.

Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution process aimed at providing quick resolution of disputes outside the courts. It is a non-judicial process for the settlement of disputes where an independent third party (arbitrator) makes a decision that is binding. The role of an arbitrator is similar to that of a judge, though the procedures can be less formal and an arbitrator is usually an expert in their own right. Although arbitration cases are steadily increasing in other countries, the Indian experience with arbitration process is not encouraging mainly because the nature of arbitration in India is ad hoc.1 Also, the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act, 1996”), the legislative framework pertaining to arbitration in, has failed to regulate arbitration-unfriendly judicial interventions and could not streamline the inordinate delay in arbitration proceedings. Since most of the arbitration process has been ad hoc, the lack of preset rules and institutional backing for enforcement of time schedules has caused serious concern.

The Arbitration Act, 1996 itself was enacted with the good intention of minimising unwanted judicial intervention and boosting commercial dispute resolution. However, the lack of clarity in certain provisions regarding the extent of judicial intervention coupled with judicial interpretation in contradiction to the objective of the Arbitration Act, 1996 again has resulted in a scenario of India being perceived as an unfriendly destination for arbitration.

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Updated On : 29th Nov, 2022
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