SC Decision in BCCI vs. Kochi Cricket: Much Ado About Nothing?

First published on LiveLaw

After many rounds of deliberations and at least two Law Commission Reports separated by more than a decade (Report 176 in 2001and Report 246 in 2014), the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was finally amended on 23 October 2015 by way of an ordinance. The ordinance route was justified on grounds that the amendments were urgent to send the right message about Indian government’s intentions of making the necessary legal reforms for ease of doing business in India.

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Looking Through the Transnational Theory of Arbitration: Imagining Future Possibilities for Indian Law

Co-Author: Abhishek Dwivedi

ABSTRACT: Is India poised to be the next international arbitration hub? This paper suggests that it could,
but needs some course correction. The authors present a hypothesis that the seat theory of arbitration is undergoing a dialectical evolution. In this process, it is using the transnational theory (as its negation) to evolve into a more capable concept to tackle the challenges of modern international arbitration. India needs to create appropriate jurisprudential ecosystem to allow it to participate and contribute in this next phase of international arbitration’s evolution, rather than play catch-up, as it did in the past. Recent debates on false premises such as two Indian parties’ liberty to choose foreign seat and inventing a flawed concept of seat in domestic arbitration point to certain concealed conceptual landmines that must be deactivated at the earliest.

Pdf is available here

Online publication can be found here.

India Amends Arbitration Law: Some Great, Some Absurd Changes

First published on BlogArbitration

The 1996 statute which has been subject of much criticism, sometimes unfairly overstated, has finally been amended through an ordinance which was promulgated on Friday, 23 October. The ordinance is available here.

An amendment has been in the pipeline for longer than one might think, with the first law commission recommendation to amend the 1996 Act coming way back in 2001.

The second attempt began in 2010, eventually leading to another law commission report and recommendation for a new set of amendments proposed about a year ago. The intervening 15 years had seen a complete change in how arbitration was viewed by the courts and by the policy makers in India, and that is reflected in the approach the two law commissions took – one in 2001 and the other in 2015.

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Bhatia International Ratio under the Scanner at Indian Supreme Court

First published on BlogArbitration

As reported earlier, a five judge constitutional bench of the Indian Supreme Court has started hearing arguments in the widely followed review of the Bhatia Internationalratio. I review here, some of the most important arguments made in favour of confirming the ratio.

This decision of a three member bench of the Supreme Court had allowed for application of Part I of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Indian Act”) to arbitration seated outside India. Before moving on with the post, let me lay some background for those not initiated with the controversy, so that you follow the issues in contention in the present review

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Proposed Amendments to the Indian Arbitration Act: A Fraction of the Whole?

ABSTRACT: The Indian law ministry released a consultation paper in April 2010 inviting comments on proposed amendments to the Indian Arbitration Act. While based on the Model Law, the interpretation of the Indian Act in 15 years since enactment has created serious divergence from transnational standards. A unique absurdity is the delimited application of the Act to even arbitrations seated outside India. Merits review has crept in through innovative means. Public policy defence is read as the repository of all residual powers. The proposals identify the problems, but do they walk the talk? This article analyses the contours of these problems in detail and puts the proposals to test. The conclusion in most cases is that the proposal covers a fraction of the whole issue it attempts to deal with. This article contains suggestions that could help complete the task and align Indian arbitral regime to transnational standards on these issues.

Paper is available here

Indian Supreme Court to Reconsider Bhatia International

First published on BlogArbitration

A three-member bench of the Indian Supreme Court, chaired by the Chief Justice, has referred the Bhatia International ratio for reconsideration to a five-member constitutional bench on 1st November 2011. The Supreme Court has also invited anyone interested in being heard on the issue to file an intervention. The matter is to be placed before the five-member bench on 10th January 2012.

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