International arbitration

International arbitration is a complex and evolving area of legal practice where the requirement of in-depth and expert legal knowledge is paramount. Clients having extremely complex international legalities turn to LexLords for assistance in providing top lawyers in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana to suggest winning strategies and smooth legal service for arbitration, to resolve high-stake disputes, and advise on execution of actions. This is so because we believe that when you have an arbitration case in hand, you must hire only an arbitration expert and not a lawyer who deals in all types of cases. (Know more about LexLords). LexLords provides International Arbitration Practice to domestic and international corporations and investors. Our arbitration lawyers are capable of resolving transnational issues that straddle jurisdictions and cultures, corporate structures, political systems, and treaties.

Our expert arbitration lawyers have successfully handled innumerable arbitration proceedings and frequently sit as arbitrators. LexLords assists clients through an issue’s lifecycle: from suggesting dispute prevention clauses, initiating arbitration if required, winning arbitration-related litigation under Arbitration and Conciliation Act. LexLords’ lawyers draw on their collective arbitration and litigation to respond to clients’ sophisticated commercial needs. Our arbitration lawyers integrate their legal expertise and in-depth industry knowledge, to address client’ legal requirements needs across myriad industries.

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Do you need advice in an arbitration related litigation? You might find answers in questions listed below. These are questions that clients generally ask from our chosen and listed arbitration lawyers in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana.

Are government contracts which provide for arbitration by a serving employee of the department valid and enforceable?

As per the following cases, such arbitration clauses are valid and enforceable:-

  • Ace Pipeline Contract Pvt. Ltd. v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. 2007 (5) SCC 304
  • Executive Engineer, Irrigation Division, Puri v. Gangaram Chhapolia, 1984 (3) SCC 627
  • International Authority of India v. K.D.Bali and Anr, 1988 (2) SCC 360
  • M/s. Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals v. M/s. Indo-Swiss Synthetics Germ Manufacturing Co.Ltd., 1996 (1) SCC 54
  • S.Rajan v. State of Kerala, 1993(2) R.R.R. 246
  • Secretary to Government Transport Department, Madras v. Munusamy Mudaliar, 1988 (Supp) SCC 651
  • Union of India v. M.P.Gupta, (2004) 10 SCC 504

However there is an exception to it. If the arbitrator has authority to control or deal with the subject of the contract or if he is a direct subordinate of an office who has authority to control or deal with the subject of the contract, then such government contract cannot be enforced.

  • Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. v. Raja Transport (P) Ltd. 2009 (8) SCC 520
  • Denel Propreitory Ltd. v. Govt. of India, Ministry of Defence AIR 2012 SC 817
  • Bipromasz Bipron Trading SA v. Bharat Electronics Ltd., (2012) 6 SCC 384

Can I file application for arbitration under section 8 after seeking an adjournment to file written statement?

Law is that an application for arbitration under section 8 has to be made before filing a written statement or taking any other step in the proceedings. Filing written statement show preference for civil court proceedings and desire to waive benefit of arbitration clause or agreement. The words “other step in proceedings” mean a manifest show of desire to waive benefit of arbitration clause or agreement. Merely seeking adjournment to file written statement does not show such desire and arbitration application can be made even after making request for adjournment.

Rachappa Guruadappa Bijapur v. Gurusidappa Nuraniappa and others 1989(1) ArbiLR 157

What conditions attract section 8 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996?

The following conditions attract section 8 :-

  1. there is an arbitration agreement;
  2. a party to the agreement brings an action in the Court against the other party;
  3. subject-matter of the action is the same as the subject-matter of the arbitration agreement;
  4. the other party moves the Court for referring the parties to arbitration before it submits his first statement on the substance of the dispute.

Once there exists arbitration clause in the agreement in view of the mandatory language of Section 8 of the Act the Court is bound to refer the dispute to the arbitrator. Relevant cases –

  • Hindustan Petroleum Corpn. Ltd. v. M/s Pinkcity Midway Petroleums 2003(3) RCR (Civil) 686
  • Branch Manager, M/s. Magma Leasing & Finance Ltd. & Anr. v. Potluri Madhavilata & Anr. AIR 2010 SC 488

Whether arbitrator is required to give reasons and detailed findings in the award passed by him?

An arbitrator is ordinarily not required to give reasons and detailed findings in the award passed by him.

  • State of Orissa and others v. M/s. Lall Brothers, 1988(4) SCC 153
  • Paradip Port Trust v. Unique Builders etc. 2001 AIR (SC) 846

Arbitrator can give a lump sum award

Firm Madanlal Roshanlal Mahajan v. Hukumchand Mills Ltd., AIR 1967 Supreme Court 1030 – The arbitrator could give a lump sum award and that he would not be bound to give a separate award for each claim; his award on both fact and law is final; there is no appeal from his verdict.

Court can not consider whether award is reasonable or not

Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board v. Unique Erectors (Gujarat) (P) Ltd. and another, AIR 1989 Supreme Court 973 – Reasonableness as such of an award unless the award is per se preposterous or absurd is not a matter for the court to consider. Appraisement of evidence by the arbitrator is ordinarily not a matter for the Court.

An award made by an arbitrator is conclusive

Jivarajbhai Ujamshi Sheth and others v. Chintamanrao Balaji and others, AIR 1965 Supreme Court 214 – An award made by an arbitrator is conclusive as a judgment between the parties and the Court is entitled to set aside an award if the arbitrator has misconducted himself in the proceedings or when the award has been made after the issue of an order by the Court superseding the arbitration or after arbitration proceedings have become invalid under Section 35 of the Arbitration Act or where an award has been improperly procured or is otherwise invalid (Section 30 of the Arbitration Act). An award may be set aside by the Court on the ground of error on the face of the award, but an award is not invalid merely because by a process of inference and agreement it may be demonstrated that the arbitrator has committed some mistake in arriving at his conclusion.

Jurisdiction of court to decide objections raised against arbitration award is limited

Puri Construction Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India, (1989)1 SCC 411 – Even on accepting the suggestion and interpreting the objection petition of the respondent liberally, the decision of the High Court cannot be maintained. When court is called upon to decided the objections raised by a party against an arbitration award, the jurisdiction of the court is limited, as expressly indicated in the Arbitration Act, and it has no jurisdiction to sit in appeal and examine the correctness of the award on merits.

Important law points abour arbitration proceedings

Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd. v. Eastern Engineering Enterprises and another, 1999(9) SCC 283 – Supreme Court held that :

  1. it is not open to the Court to speculate, where no reasons are given by the arbitrator, as to what impelled arbitrator to arrive at his conclusion.
  2. It is not open to the Court to admit to probe the mental process by which the arbitrator has reached his conclusion where it is not disclosed by the terms of the award.
  3. If the arbitrator has committed a mere error of fact or law in reaching his conclusion on the disputed question submitted for his adjudication then the Court cannot interfere.
  4. If no specific question of law is referred, the decision of the Arbitrator on that question is not final, however much it may be within his jurisdiction and indeed essential for him to decide the question incidentally. In a case where specific question of law touching upon the jurisdiction of the arbitrator was referred for the decision of the arbitrator by the parties, then the finding of the arbitrator on the said question between the parties may be binding.
  5. In a case of non-speaking award, the jurisdiction of the Court is limited. The award can be set aside if the arbitrator acts beyond his jurisdiction.
  6. To find out whether the arbitrator has travelled beyond his jurisdiction, it would be necessary to consider the agreement between the parties containing the arbitration clause. Arbitrator acting beyond his jurisdiction – is a different ground from the error apparent on the face of the award.
  7. In order to determine whether arbitrator has acted in excess of his jurisdiction what has to be seen is whether the claimant can raise a particular claim before the arbitrator. If there is a specific term in the contract or the law which does not permit or give the arbitrator the power to decide the dispute raised by the claimant or there is a specific bar in the contract to the raising of the particular claim then the award passed by the arbitrator in respect thereof would be in excess of jurisdiction.
  8. The award made by the Arbitrator disregarding the terms of the reference or the arbitration agreement or the terms of the contract would be a jurisdictional error which requires ultimately to be decided by the Court. He cannot award an amount which is ruled out or prohibited by the terms of the agreement. Because of specific bar stipulated by the parties in the agreement, that claim can not be raised. Even if it is raised and referred to arbitration because of wider arbitration clause such claim amount cannot be awarded as agreement is binding between the parties and the arbitrator has to adjudicate as per the agreement.
    M/s. Alopi Prashad v. Union of India (1960) 2 SCR 793 – There it was observed that a contract is not frustrated merely because the circumstances in which the contract was made, altered. The Contract Act does not enable a party to a contract to ignore the express covenants thereof, and to claim payment of consideration for performance of the contract at rates different from the stipulated rates, on some vague plea of equity. The parties to an executory contract are often faced, in the course of carrying it out, with a turn of event which they did not at all anticipate, a wholly abnormal rise or fall in prices, a sudden depreciation of currency, an unexpected obstacle to execution, or the like. There is no general liberty reserved to the courts to absolve a party from liability to perform his part of the contract merely because on account of an uncontemplated turn of events, the performance of the contract may become onerous.
  9. The arbitrator can not act arbitrarily, irrationally, capriciously or independently of the contract. A deliberate departure or conscious disregard of the contract not only manifests the disregard of his authority or misconduct on his part but it may tantamount to mala fideaction.
  10. The arbitrator is not a conciliator and cannot ignore the law or misapply it in order to do what he thinks just and reasonable; the arbitrator is a tribunal selected by the parties to decide the disputes according to law.