Continuing its move to introduce legislative amendments by way
of ordinance, while the Parliament is not in session, the Central
Government has once again amended the Arbitration and Conciliation
Act, 1996 ("Arbitration Act") with the consent of the
President. The President of India promulgated the Arbitration and
Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 to amend the Arbitration
Act, on October 23, 2015 ("Arbitration Ordinance"). The
Arbitration Ordinance brings into force the Arbitration and
Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, that had been cleared by the
Union Cabinet during August this year, the salient features of
which were summarised in our earlier Newsletter of August,
The Arbitration Ordinance, which comes into force with immediate
effect, puts to rest the matter whether interim measures under
Section 9 of the Arbitration Act, assistance of court for taking
evidence under Section 27 of the Arbitration Act and provision for
appeal under Section 37 of the Arbitration Act from interim orders
are available for international commercial arbitration where the
place of arbitration is outside India. It has been clarified that
even though the place of arbitration of international commercial
arbitration is outside India, and an arbitral award is a foreign
award which is enforceable and recognised under the provisions of
Part II of the Arbitration Act, the provisions of the Arbitration
Act dealing with interim measures, assistance of court for taking
evidence and appeal from interim orders will be applicable.
The Arbitration Ordinance which has introduced effective steps
for speedy redressal of arbitrations, will have to be passed by
both Houses of Parliament, within 6 (six) weeks of its reassembling
or the ordinance will cease to operate. Considering that ordinances
have the effect of temporary laws, stakeholders will be wary of
implementing the provisions of the Arbitration Ordinance before the
Parliament reconvenes next month for its winter session.
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