India: Arbitration And Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015

Last Updated: 6 November 2015
Article by DSK Legal

The President of India promulgated the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 ("the Ordinance") on October 23, 2015 amending the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 ("the Act"). The said Ordinance has come into force on the date of notification i.e. October 23, 2015.

Some of the salient features of the Ordinance:

1. Jurisdiction of Indian Courts in case of international commercial arbitration [Section 2]

In case of international commercial arbitrations, no court inferior to a High Court shall have jurisdiction.

Unless the parties agree to the contrary, provisions of Section 9 (interim measures by court), 27 (court assistance in taking evidence) and 37 (1)(a) (appeal from order granting or refusing interim measure by courts) and 37(3) will also apply to international commercial arbitration even if the place of arbitration is outside India and the arbitral award made or to be made is enforceable under Part II.

[Note: Section 37(1)(a) has been amended by the Ordinance, which now relates to appeals from order of refusal pursuant to an application under Section 8 of the Act. However, it appears that Section 2(2), as amended, intended to refer to Section 37(1)(a) as it originally stood viz. appeal from order granting or refusing interim measures by court. This issue needs some clarity.]

2. Limited scope to refuse the request to refer the dispute to arbitration [Section 8]

Once an application is made (prior to submission of first statement on substance of dispute) by party to arbitration, or any person claiming through or under him, to judicial authority to refer parties to arbitration, the judicial authority is required to refer the parties to arbitration. Only exception is where the judicial authority finds that prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists.

Order refusing to refer the parties to arbitration is appealable under Section 37.

3. Grant of interim measures by the court to be followed by commencement of arbitration proceedings [Section 9]

Where any order for interim protection has been passed by a court prior to the commencement of the arbitration proceedings, the arbitration proceedings have to commence within a period of 90 (ninety) days from the date of such order or such further time as the court may determine.

Scope for court to entertain application for interim reliefs during arbitration:

Once the arbitral tribunal has been constituted, court shall not entertain an application for interim measure unless the court finds that having regard to circumstances, the remedy provided under Section 17 (interim measures before the arbitral tribunal) may not be efficacious.

4. Appointment of Arbitrator [Section 11]

The authority to appoint arbitrator is now of the Supreme Court, in case of international commercial arbitration, and that of the High Court/s in case of other arbitrations, instead of respective Chief Justices.

Time for disposal of application:

An application for appointment of arbitrator is to be disposed as expeditiously as possible and endeavor is to be made to dispose of the matter within a period of 60 (sixty) days from the date of service of notice to the opposite party.

Scope of Inquiry:

The court's scope of inquiry under Section 11 has been confined to examination of the existence of an arbitration agreement.

Finality of Appointment:

No appeal (including a Letters Patent Appeal) shall lie against a decision of the court under Section 11.

5. Disclosures of interest by Arbitrator/ ineligibility to act [Section 12]

An obligation has been cast upon the prospective arbitrator to make an express disclosure on (a) circumstances which are likely to give rise to justifiable doubts regarding his independence or impartiality; or (b) grounds which may affect his ability to complete the arbitration within 12 (twelve) months. Fifth Schedule to the Ordinance contains detailed list as to what would give rise to doubts about independence or impartiality.

6. Absolute grounds of ineligibility to act as arbitrator [Section 12]

Seventh Schedule to the Ordinance lists the circumstances in which a person would be ineligible to act as arbitrator despite any prior contract to contrary. Parties can, however, waive the said provisions relating to ineligibility by express agreement in writing after the disputes have arisen.

Applicability to pending arbitrations:

This provision shall not apply to cases where an arbitrator has already been appointed on or before commencement of the Ordinance.

7. Enforceability and scope of Interim measures by the arbitral tribunal [Section 17]

The powers of arbitral tribunal to grant interim measures are similar to those of the court under Section 9 of the Act.


The interim orders passed by arbitral tribunal are enforceable under the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) as if it were an order of the Court.

8. Rules applicable to substance of dispute [Section 28]

The arbitral tribunal is to take into account the terms of the contract and trade usages applicable to the transaction while deciding and making an award.

9. Time bound disposal of arbitrations [Section 29A / Section 24]

Day to day hearings:

The Arbitral Tribunal is required, as far as possible, to hold day to day hearings for evidence or oral arguments and not grant adjournment without sufficient cause.

The arbitral tribunal is to make the award within 12 (twelve) months from the date the arbitral tribunal receives notice in writing of its appointment. The parties may, by consent, extend the aforesaid period by 6 (six) months. If the award is not made within the aforesaid period (viz. 18 months), then the mandate of arbitrator shall terminate unless, the court extends the period, prior to or after expiry of the aforesaid period on an application by a party.

10. Fast track procedure [Section 29B]

The parties may, prior to or at the time of appointment of the arbitral tribunal, agree to a fast track procedure where the arbitral tribunal shall consist of a sole arbitrator who shall decide the dispute on basis of written pleadings, documents and submissions filed by the parties without any oral hearing (oral hearing may be held if all parties request or arbitral tribunal considers it necessary). The award is to be made within a period of 6 (six) months.

11. Rate of interest, when Award is silent [Section 31]

An amount awarded by the arbitral tribunal will, unless otherwise specified by the arbitral tribunal, carry interest at 2% p.a. more than the current rate of interest, from the date of the award to the date of payment.

[Note: The rate of interest applicable in such cases, prior to the Ordinance was 18% p.a.]

12. Detailed provisions regarding computation of cost [Section 31A]

New section is inserted listing the factors to be considered whilst granting cost which include conduct of parties, whether frivolous counter claims are made, whether reasonable offer to settle dispute is refused by any party, etc.

13. Limiting Scope of "Public Policy" and time bound disposal of challenge to Award [Section 34]

The Ordinance seeks to restrict the challenge to an award on the ground of public policy only to the following:-

  1. making of an award was induced/ affected by fraud or corruption or was in violation of Section 75 or Section 81 of the Act;
  2. where an award is in conflict with the fundamental policy of Indian Law; or
  3. where an award is in conflict with the most basic notions of morality or justice.

The award can also be set aside if the court finds that the award is vitiated by patent illegality appearing on the face of the award.

Similar amendments have also been introduced in Sections 48 and 57 making the test of conflict with public policy a uniform one for domestic and foreign awards.

An application to set aside the award is to be disposed of by the court within a period of one (1) year.

14. No automatic stay on Enforcement of Award by filing challenge proceedings [Section 36]

Mere filing of an application to set aside an award under Section 34 shall not itself render the award unenforceable. Party seeking stay on operation of an award, is required to file separate application for the same. Hence, unless stayed, the award will be enforceable after expiry of period prescribed to challenge the award. The court may stay the award on similar considerations as in case of stay of a money decree.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions