Comments on the (Indian) Arbitration & Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018
14 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 23, 2018
The Arbitration & Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (“2018 Bill”) has been passed by the Lok Sabha and is now to be taken up before the Rajya Sabha of the Indian parliament this winter session. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is an important legislation because arbitration constitutes a significant part of the ecosystem of dispute resolution mechanisms. Arbitration is the default mode of dispute resolution in commercial contracts. Recognising this, the Government has sought to tweak the arbitration law after gaining experience from the amendments made in 2015. The 2018 Bill is pursuant to the recommendations of the SriKrishna Committee constituted by the Government to improve the institutional arbitration mechanism in India. It seeks to establish India as a robust centre for international arbitration and modify some of the recent amendments made to the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 given the experiences gained in implementing those provisions.
The amendments contained in the 2018 Bill are far reaching and has the potential to completely alter the way in which arbitration law functions in India. Many commentators have stated that the proposed amendments should not disturb the amendments already made since those amendments have markedly improved Indian arbitration. However, many have also criticized certain provisions of the 2015 amendments, especially those relating to Section 29A fixing time limits for arbitration and increase in court interventions.
This paper critically evaluates certain provisions of the 2018 Bill, suggests changes to the Bill, and provides detailed reasons in support of the changes proposed in this paper.
Keywords: Arbitration, Indian Arbitration, Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015, Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2018
JEL Classification: K10, K19, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation