Report No. 176
2.21.6 The Commission, therefore, proposes to prescribe such a procedure in a new section -
Section 29A - which is stated as follows: After section 29 of the principal Act, the following section shall be inserted: Speeding up of proceedings and time limit for making awards
"29A (1) The arbitral tribunal shall make its award within a period of one year after the commencement of arbitral proceedings, or within such extended period as specified in sub-sections (2) to (4):
(2) The parties may, by consent, enlarge the period specified in sub-section (1) for a further period not exceeding one year.
(3) If the award is not made within the period specified in sub-section (1) and the period agreed to by the parties under sub-section (2), the arbitral proceedings shall, subject to the provisions of sub-sections (4) to (6), stand suspended until an application for extension is made to the Court by any party to the arbitration, or where none of the parties makes an application as foresaid, until such an application is made by the arbitral tribunal.
(4) Upon filing of the application for extension of time under subsection (3),suspension of the arbitral proceedings shall stand revoked and pending consideration of the application for extension of time before the court under sub-section (3), the arbitral proceedings shall continue before the arbitral tribunal and the court shall not grant any stay of the arbitral proceedings.
(5) The Court shall, upon such application for extension of time being made under sub section (3), whether the time for making the award as aforesaid has expired or not and whether the award has been made or not, extend the time for the making of the award beyond the period referred to in sub-section (1) and the period agreed to by the parties under sub-section (2).
(6) The Court shall, while extending time under sub-section (5), pass such orders as to costs or as to the future procedure to be followed by the arbitral tribunal, after taking into account-
(a) the extent of work already done;
(b) the reasons for delay;
(c) the conduct of the parties or of any person representing the parties;
(d) the manner in which proceedings were conducted by the arbitral tribunal;
(e) the further work involved;
(f) the amount of money already spent by the parties towards fee and expenses of arbitration;
(g) any other relevant circumstances, and the Court shall pass such orders from time to time with a view to speed up the arbitral process, till the award is passed: Provided that any order as to future proceedings passed by the Court shall be subject to such rules as may be made by the High Court in this behalf for expediting the arbitral proceedings.
(7) Parties cannot by consent, enlarge the period beyond the period specified in sub-section (1) and the maximum period referred to in sub-section (2) and save as otherwise provided in the said sub-sections, any provision in an arbitration agreement whereby the arbitral tribunal may further enlarge the time for making the award, shall be void and of no effect.
(8) The first of the orders of extension under subsection (5) together with directions, if any, under subsection (6), shall be passed by the court, within a period of one month from the date of service on the opposite party."
This procedure is proposed to be applied not only in future arbitrations under the 1996 Act but also with reference to pending arbitrations under the 1996 Act and also in respect of pending arbitrations under the 1940 Act and also under the Fast Track Arbitration. Provisions of sub sections (4) to (8) of the proposed sec. 29A are proposed to be applied to pending arbitrations under the 1996 Act (vide sec. 33 of the amending Act) and also to pending arbitrations under the 1940 Act (vide sec. 34 of the amending Act).