Report No. 246
Amendment of Section 7
4. In section 7 of the Act,
(i) In sub-section (1), after the words "contractual or not" add ", concerning a subject matter capable of settlement by arbitration."
[Note: This amendment makes it abundantly clear that a dispute must be arbitrable in the first place.]
(ii) after sub-section (3) and before sub-section (4), insert sub-sections
"(3A) An arbitration agreement is in writing if its content is recorded in any form, whether or not the arbitration agreement or contract has been concluded orally, by conduct, or by other means.
(3B) The requirement that an arbitration agreement be in writing is met by an electronic communication if the information contained therein is accessible so as to be useable for subsequent reference.
Explanation. For the purpose of this Act, "electronic communication" means any communication that the parties make by means of data messages; "data message" means information generated, sent, received or stored by electronic, magnetic, optical or similar means, including, but not limited to, electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic mail, telegram, telex and telecopy."
[Note: This amendment brings Indian law in conformity with the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and clarifies that an arbitration agreement can be concluded by way of electronic communication as well.]