Report No. 176
2.38.1 Fast track arbitration: proposed 43A to 43D (chapter XI) in Part I:
In modern day arbitration system, there are various types of Fast Track Arbitration. Some are called 'Fast Track Arbitration', some others are called 'accelerated arbitration' and yet some others are called 'expedited arbitration' (see Vol. 10, (1993) Journal of International Arbitration p.69,
"When Doctrines Meet - Fast Track Arbitration and the ICC experience" by Benjamin Davis and Others). What we have proposed in Chapter XI in sections 43A to 43D and Schedule IV is not a fully time bound Fast Track Arbitration but is one where initially a period of six months is provided by statute for the passing of award, which can be extended by the parties for another period of three months and thereafter, if the award is not passed, the procedure envisaged under sub sections (4) to (8) of sec. 29A, namely the High Court fixing the time schedule, is to be followed, till the award is passed.
Further we have provided that application to set aside the award should be filed in the High Court and not the Principal Courts mentioned in sec. 2(1)(e). Thus, one level of litigation in the Principal Courts is eliminated, as stated below. Various arbitral institutions also provide for fast track arbitration in the rules framed by those institutions.
Under this procedure, the parties may opt for fast track arbitration and request the arbitral tribunal, before the commencement of the arbitration proceedings to decide the reference in a fixed time-frame as agreed between the parties, according to the fast track arbitration procedure.
For example, rules 43 to 57 of the Rules of Arbitration of the Indian Council of Arbitration; the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution, New Delhi (ICADR) Fast Track Arbitration Rules, 1996; in London Court of International Arbitration Rules, article 9 deals with expedited formation; the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Short Form Arbitration Rules, 1991; Chapter III of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission CIETAC Arbitration Rules deals with summary procedure, amply lay down the governing of fast track arbitration by various institutions in the world. (see V.A. Mohta, The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, 1st Edn. 2001) Similarly, there is necessity to make a provision for fast track arbitration, details of which are set out in the Schedule to the Act.
It is, therefore, proposed to insert a new section 19A after section 19, to enable the parties to opt for fast track procedure, as follows:
The provisions in the new proposed Section 43A are firstly that parties to a legal proceeding in a court or parties to an arbitration agreement have to agree to go to the Fast Track procedure for arbitration by a single named arbitration chosen by them. If they so agree, then the procedure in the schedule shall apply. The procedure in the arbitration agreement, if any, shall cease to apply and the procedure in the schedule will apply.
If there is any aspect on which the scheduled is silent, then the provisions of the Act, so far as may be, will apply. One other aspect in the schedule is that normally, arbitration should to completed in six months and application to set aside the award is to be filed in the High Court and not in the court under Section 2 (1) (e) and the High Court is to dispose of the matter within three months of service of notices on the opposite parties.
2.38.2 Insertion of new Chapter XI in Part I 28. After section 43 of the principal Act, the following Chapter shall be inserted, namely: