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09 December 2016

Arbitration proceedings commencing outside India – Applicability of new provisions

Delhi High Court has held that Section 26 of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 (which states that Amendment Act is not to apply to pending arbitral proceedings) not bars applicability of the said Act to proceedings which commenced outside India. It was also held that there is no indication in Section 26 that it would not be applicable to the proceedings instituted in courts after the Amendment Act came into force, though the arbitration proceedings commenced before 23-10-2015.

Further, considering the question as to whether the petitioner can approach Court for an interim relief considering that it had already approached the Arbitral Tribunal in Singapore and thereafter, also obtained a judgment in terms of the interim order from the Singapore High Court, the court in its decision dated 7-10-2016 in the case of Raffles Design International India Private Limited, held that that the question whether the interim orders should be granted under section 9 of the Arbitration Act or not would have to be considered by the Courts independent of the orders passed by the arbitral tribunal. It was held that though recourse to Section 9 was not available for the purpose of enforcing the orders of the arbitral tribunal, but that does not mean that the Court cannot independently apply its mind and grant interim relief in cases where it is warranted.