2015 amendments to the Arbitration & Conciliation Act brought about a serious overhaul of the justice delivery system through arbitration. India’s courts have interpreted the amendments in the same spirit and have brought clarity to the objective of the amendments.
A very interesting recent development is that while referring the disputes to arbitration, the courts in India are now required only to make a prima facie assessment as to the existence of the arbitration clause. This change has been brought by the recent amendment to the act. The new development reduces the time required by court to apply its judicial mind before the disputes can travel to arbitration, and gives primacy to the principle of kompetenz, recognized globally.
An example of how readily courts are now referring disputes to arbitration is a recent judgment of the Supreme Court of India, where even a non-party to arbitration, in the peculiar circumstances of the case, could be referred to arbitration, owing to the presence of an umbrella contract containing the arbitration clause.
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RAVI SINGHANIA is the managing partner and GUNJAN CHHABRA is a senior associate at Singhania & Partners
Singhania & Partners Solicitors and Advocates
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