Report No. 176
2.17.1 Powers to be granted to the arbitral tribunal to enforce its orders:
Proposed Section 24A: It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that some ;parties are not prompt in carrying out the various directions that are issued by the arbitral tribunal during the conduct of the arbitration proceedings under section 17, 23 and 24. It is pointed out that the types of default contemplated by sec. 25 of the Act are not exhaustive and, therefore, provision must be made to cover consequences for non compliance with other types of default.
It is also pointed out that unless powers to strike out pleadings or to exclude the irrelevant evidence or to award costs etc. are conferred on the arbitral tribunal, it is becoming difficult to deal with some recalcitrant parties. It has been suggested that the provisions of sub-sections (5), (6) and (7) of sec. 41 of the English Act, 1996, should be brought in so as to enable the arbitral tribunal to keep effective control and speed up the arbitral process. Such provisions will enable the arbitral tribunal in dealing effectively with some troublesome parties.
The Commission agrees that sec. 25, as it stands, provides only for situations where the claim statement is not filed or the defence statement is not filed in time or when the party fails to appear at the oral hearing or fails to produce documentary evidence. These situations may lead to the dismissal of the claim or the passing of an award on the basis of evidence before it. But it is necessary, in the opinion of the Commission, to provide for a procedure in case of non-compliance with other directions of the arbitral tribunal.
The Commission, therefore, proposes to lay down the procedure in this behalf separately and these powers are to be exercised without prejudice to the procedure under the proposed sec. 25. It is, therefore, proposed to grant special powers to the arbitral tribunal to first pass peremptory orders for compliance with the 'interim measures' ordered under section 17 or the various directions or time schedules fixed under section 23 for filing pleadings or under section 24 for adducing evidence.
If such preempting orders as proposed, are still not complied with, the arbitral tribunal may pass orders imposing costs, or direct the striking out of pleadings or exclusion of some material relied upon or draw adverse inference. It is expected that these additional powers, if given to the arbitral tribunal, will speed up the arbitral process and result in strict compliance with the orders of the arbitral tribunal. The powers of the arbitral tribunal to enforce its orders are proposed to be brought under the new section 24A as stated below: