Report No. 253
(v) Additional Provisions
3.24.1 The Law Commission, in its 246th Report on the "Amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act" has recommended changes to the A&C Act to inter alia, reduce the intervention of the Court in arbitration proceedings.47
47. Law Commission of India, Amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Report No. 246 (2014).
3.24.2 The 246th Report of the Commission has recommended an amendment to definition of "Court" in Section 2(e) of the A&C Act, 1996 to mean "High Court" in the context of all international commercial arbitrations, irrespective of value. Keeping the suggestions and the amendments proposed in that report, we make the following suggestions with respect to arbitrations that involve commercial disputes.
3.24.3 First, it is recommended that in case of an international commercial arbitration concerning a commercial dispute of more than Rupees One Crore, any application or appeal arising out of such arbitration under the A&C Act, that has been filed in a High Court will be heard by the Commercial Division of the High Court, where such Commercial Division has been constituted in the High Court. In the absence of the Commercial Division, applications or appeals concerning such international commercial arbitrations will be heard by the regular Bench of the High Court.
3.24.4 Second, in the case of domestic arbitrations concerning a commercial dispute of more than Rupees One Crore, applications or appeals may lie either to the High Court or a Civil Court (not being a High Court) depending upon the pecuniary jurisdiction. It is recommended that all applications or appeals arising out of such arbitrations under the A&C Act, that have been filed on the original side of the High Court shall be heard by the Commercial Division of the High Court where such Commercial Division is constituted in the High Court.
However, in the absence of a Commercial Division being constituted, the regular Bench of the High Court will hear such applications or appeals arising out of domestic arbitration. If the application or appeal in such domestic arbitration is not within the jurisdiction of the High Court and would ordinarily lie before a Civil Court (not being a High Court) and there is a Commercial Court exercising territorial jurisdiction in respect of such arbitration, then such application or appeal shall be filed in and heard by such Commercial Court.
3.24.5 Third, it is recommended that all appeals under the A&C Act in relation to arbitration cases concerning a commercial dispute of more than Rupees One Crore preferred against an order of the Commercial Division or Commercial Court, shall be heard and disposed of by the Commercial Appellate Division, where a Commercial Appellate Division has been constituted in the jurisdictional High Court.