Do Indian courts have the power to modify an arbitral award?
International Company and Commercial Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 7, pp. 387-397, 2021
11 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021
Date Written: June 28, 2021
The modification of arbitral awards has been a subject of immense judicial scrutiny by Indian courts. Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation 1996 furnishes Indian courts with the power to set aside an arbitral award. However, the Apex Court is yet to satisfactorily answer if the power of setting aside arbitral awards under s.34 includes the power to modify arbitral awards. In this paper, the authors shall demonstrate the vastly inconsistent interpretation of the provision by the Indian courts so far. The first part of this paper analyses the contradictory reasoning of several Indian high courts, while the next part provides an insight into the Supreme Court’s praxis of modifying an arbitral award. The paper then decodes the legislative intent behind s.34 and draws a cross-border comparative analysis with laws of the US, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Lastly, the paper concludes that the courts must revisit the power to modify an arbitral award in light of the broader objective of the 1996 Act to provide speedy justice.
JEL Classification: K2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation