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Report No. 76

11.10. Merits of the first alternative.-

The first alternative would avoid questions as to validity of an award pronounced beyond the prescribed time limit. In support of this alternative, it could be stated that there is no reason why the parties should suffer for the delay caused by action of the arbitrator. No doubt, where the arbitrator does not use reasonable dispatch in the arbitration proceedings,1 the court may, on the application of any party to a reference, remove the arbitrator or umpire who fails to use all reasonable dispatch in entering on and proceeding with the reference in making the award.

Further, the court may, when it removes the umpire who has entered on the reference or a sole arbitrator or all the arbitrators, on the application of any party to the arbitration agreement, either appoint a person to act as sole arbitrator in place of the person or persons displaced, or order that the arbitration shall cease to have effect with respect to the difference referred. But, this is only a right of the party and if, for some reason, the party does not pursue the remedy afforded by the relevant provisions, then the proceedings might drag on. At the same time, it can be argued against the first alternative that the total deletion of a time limit might encourage lethargy and indifference on the part of arbitrators and umpires.

1. Section 11(1). read with section 12 (2)(b).

Arbitration Act, 1940 Back

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