A narrow interpretation


Delhi High Court has violated the spirit of judicial non-intervention and curbed the powers of arbitral tribunals in a recent judgment, argues Palash Gupta

The recent Delhi High Court judgment in Intertoll ICS Cecons & Ors v National Highways Authority of India compares the power of an arbitrator or arbitral tribunal to grant interim measures of protection under section 17 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, with a court’s power to pass interim orders in line with section 9 of the act.

Palash Gupta
Palash Gupta

In Intertoll, Delhi High Court stated that the powers granted to an arbitral tribunal to order interim measures are narrow and limited to: (i) the protection of the subject matter of the dispute; and (ii) a party to the arbitration. The court further observed that no powers have been granted to tribunals to enforce interim orders, nor any provisions made for the judicial enforcement of such orders.

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Palash Gupta is a partner at Oasis Counsel and Advisory, a full-service law firm with offices in Mumbai, Pune and Goa. The views expressed in this article are personal.