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Report No. 176

1.3 Speedy disposal and least Court intervention are the basis of 1996 Act

A reading of the 1996 Act shows that speedy arbitration and least court intervention are its main objectives. In fact, sec.5 of the Act declares:

"Sec.5: Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, in matters covered by this Part (Part I), no judicial authority shall intervene except where so provided in this Part."

This basic provision is found in the laws of all the countries which have adopted the UNCITRAL Model. The provisions as to waiving objections etc. contained in Sections 4, 12, 14(4), 16(5), 19(1) and 25 amply demonstrate that the objective is to see that the disputes are not unduly prolonged. In fact, the UNICTRAL Model, wherever it permitted intervention by court, by way of appeal, before the passing of the award, left it to the arbitrator, to proceed or not to proceed further pending the appeal.

This was intended to see that the appeal proceedings are not allowed to be unreasonably delayed. It is, therefore, necessary to emphasize that the proposed amendments do not result in permitting parties to prolong the arbitration proceedings unnecessarily. While considering the need for amendments, the Commission has, therefore, not deviated from this main objective of the Act. The Commission has rejected quite a lot of proposals that have been made before it as it felt that the said proposals would certainly contribute to the delay in arbitration proceedings.

1.4 Representations regarding drawbacks in the Act:

Ever since the Act of 1996 came into force, requests have been voiced for amendments in the provisions of the 1996 Act, in so far as they related to Arbitration. It was considered by the Law Commission in 1998, that it would not be appropriate to take up amendments of the Act of 1996 in haste and that it would be desirable to wait and see how the courts would grapple with the situations that might arise.

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2001 Back

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