Amendment in Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill

Arbitration and conciliation amendment Bill 2021 shall be deemed to have come into force on the 4th day of November, 2020.In the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in section 36, in sub-section (3), after the proviso, the following shall be inserted and shall be deemed to have been inserted with effect from the 23rd day of October, 2015, namely:

“Provided further that where the Court is satisfied that a prima facie case is made out that, –– (a) the arbitration agreement or contract which is the basis of the award; or (b) the making of the award, was induced or effected by fraud or corruption, it shall stay the award unconditionally pending disposal of the challenge under section 34 to the award.

The bill clarified that the above proviso shall apply to all court cases arising out of or in relation to arbitral proceedings, irrespective of whether the arbitral or court proceedings were commenced prior to or after the commencement of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015.”

The Eighth Schedule to the principal Act stands omitted.The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 is hereby repealed. Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken under the said Ordinance shall be deemed to have been done or taken under this Act.”

In order to address the issue of corrupt practices in securing contracts or arbitral awards, a need was felt to ensure that all the stakeholder parties get an opportunity to seek unconditional stay of enforcement of arbitral awards, where the underlying arbitration agreement or contract or making of the arbitral award is induced by fraud or corruption.

Also to promote India as a hub of international commercial arbitration by attracting eminent arbitrators to the country, it was also felt necessary to omit the Eighth Schedule of the Act. In the light of above circumstances, it has become necessary further to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.”

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