Appointment of Arbitrators: SC battling self created demons?

A recent reported judgment, Voestalpine Schinen GmbH vs. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (2017) 4 SCC 665, makes an interesting read. Of course, it is one of the first decisions of the Supreme Court interpreting the amending provisions in S. 12 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and must be of interest – but it is of even more significance because of what the court orders without reference to the dispute before it.

In brief, the controversy was simple – and would be recurring in the Indian PSUs context. The arbitration clause provided that a three member tribunal would be selected in the following fashion: DMRC would maintain a panel of arbitrators – serving or retired engineers of government departments or of public sector undertakings. It would send a name of 5 from the panel to Voestalpine to select one, after making its own selection from that 5. The two so chosen will then select the third from the same 5 names. Continue reading “Appointment of Arbitrators: SC battling self created demons?”