Supreme Court: Section 34 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act not maintainable in Foreign Award

Justice Indira Banerjee and S. Ravindra Bhat in Noy Vallesina Engineering SpA vs. Jindal Drugs Limited & Ors referred the case of Bharat Alluminium Company vs Kaiser Alluminium Technical Services Inc were the argument was made in respect of maintainability of a challenge under section 34 of the Arbitration Act.

The Arbitration Act, 1996 applicable or enable the Indian courts to exercise supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration or the award. It would only mean that the parties have contractually imported from the Arbitration Act, 1996, those provisions which are concerned with the internal conduct of their arbitration and which are not inconsistent with the mandatory provisions of the English procedural law/curial law. This necessarily follows from the fact that Part I applies only to arbitrations having their seat/place in India.So far as India is concerned, the Arbitration Act, 1996 does not confer any such jurisdiction on the Indian courts to annul an international commercial award made outside India. Such provision exists in Section 34, which is placed in Part I. Therefore, the applicability of that provision is limited to the awards made in India.

In view of the foregoing discussion, the impugned judgment and order is hereby set aside; the appeal is allowed in the above terms. Costs quantified at ₹ 1,50,000/- shall be paid by the respondent No.1.

Civil Appeal no 8607 of 2010

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