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An Ordinance passed by the President to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 [READ ORDINANCE]

Promulgated by the President in the Seventy-first Year of the Republic of India, the President passed this ordinance favoring stakeholder parties in order for them to give them opportunity to seek unconditional stay of enforcement of arbitral awards where the underlying arbitration agreement or contract.

By: Anish Khondo, 5th-year law student at School of Law, Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bangalore.

The Arbitration and conciliation Act was first amended in 2015. On 4th November 2020, the President had promulgated an Ordinance further to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Stating that “WHEREAS to address the concerns raised by stakeholders after the enactment of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 and 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 are induced by fraud or corruption, it has become necessary to make further amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.”

The President promulgated the following Ordinance under the powers conferred under clause (1) of Article 123 of the Constitution and adding proviso under Section 36 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 adding “For the removal of doubts, it is hereby 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.”

Previously, the 2015 amendment on section 36 stated about the effect whereof was the removal of the automatic stay in the execution of the Arbitral award as under the old section, if an application under section 34 was filed, the arbitral award could only be enforced when the said application was refused.

The Ordinance also consisted of substitution of a new section for section 43J which mentions regulations constituting Qualifications and Experience of Arbitrator “43J. The qualifications, experience, and norms for accreditation of arbitrators shall be such as may be specified by the regulations.” And lastly, “The Eighth Schedule to the principal Act shall be omitted.”

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