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Report No. 176

2.1.1 Definitions - Section 2

"Court"

Section 2(1)(e) reads as follows:

"Court" means the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district, and includes the High Court in exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction, having jurisdiction to decide the questions forming the subject-matter of the arbitration if the same had been the subject-matter of a suit, but does not include any civil court of a grade inferior to such principal Civil Court, or any Court of Small Causes;"

This provision defines 'Court' as the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in the district and includes the High Court wherever the High Court is exercising Original Jurisdiction. The sections which use the word 'Court' are sec.9 (interim measures), sec.14(2) (impossibility on the part of the arbitrators to act), sec. 34(3) (filing of objection to the award), sec.36 (enforcement of award), sec.37 (appeals), sec.39 (2) and (4) (lien and deposit), sec.42 (jurisdiction) and sec. 43 (limitation).

The term 'Judicial authority' is used in sections 5 and 8. Here this term can also mean a District Court or a Court subordinate to the District Court or the High Court on the original side. It may also refer to a quasi judicial authority. Whatever the meaning intended, the word 'judicial authority' includes a 'Court'.

It has been proposed that in section 2(1)(e), the court of the Principal Judge of the City Civil Court in a city should also be included. This suggestion made in the Bombay seminar has been accepted to avoid any unnecessary controversy.

2.1.2 After such amendment, sec. 2(1)(e) will read as follows:

"(e) 'court' means the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district, the Court of principal judge of the City Civil court of original jurisdiction in a city and includes the High Court in exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction, having jurisdiction to decide the questions forming the subject matter of an arbitration if the same had been the subject matter of a suit, but does not include any civil court of a grade inferior to such principal Civil Court or to such Court of the principal judge City Civil Court, or any Court of Small Causes;" Recently, it has been held in Western Shipbreaking Corpn. Vs. Clase Haren Ltd. (UK): (1997(3) Guj L.R. 1985) that the Additional District Judge cannot deal with an application under sec.8 of the 1996 Act but that the word 'District Judge' includes a 'Joint District Judge'.

It is, therefore, proposed to make a provision enabling the principal court in a district or a court of the principal Judge of a City Civil Court in a city to transfer matters under this Act to other Courts of co-equal jurisdiction in the district or city, as the case may be, to reduce congestion in the principal courts. This will help matters to be transferred to Additional Courts having powers and jurisdiction under various sections, viz., section 8 and proposed sections 8A, 17A, 29A and section 34 etc.

2.1.2A The proposed addition to sec. 2 enabling transfer of matters from the Principal Courts to the Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction, will read as follows:

"(10) The principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district or the Court of the principal judge, City Civil Court exercising original jurisdiction in a city, as the case may be, may transfer any matter relating to any proceedings under the Act pending before it to any court of coordinate jurisdiction, in the district or the city, as the case may be, for decision from time to time.



The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2001 Back




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