International Arbitration in India* – Vol. 6 No. 2

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AuthorA. K. Bansal**

Published: July 1995

National Institutions and Rules

Description: The new law relating to arbitration and conciliation in India will enhance the credibility of India in the eyes of the international business community as a forum for the settlement of business disputes. The Government of India introduced “The Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 1995” (Bill No. XXX of 1995) in the Upper House of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) on May 16, 1995 to improve the law relating to arbitration and to ameliorate difficulties faced in domestic as well as in international arbitrations. A joint committee of both Houses of Parliament has unanimously approved the bill with minor amendments. It is expected that it will be passed by the Parliament in its next session. The President of India issued ‘The Arbitration & Conciliation Ordinance, 1996” on January 16, 1996 to implement the provisions of the bill by ordinance.

The object of the bill is to consolidate and amend the law relating to domestic arbitration, international commercial arbitration, and the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, as well as to define the law relating to conciliation and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The bill seeks to repeal three laws, namely the Arbitration (Protocol and Convention) Act of 1937, the Arbitration Act of 1940, and the Foreign Awards Act of 1961.

The bill seeks to make international commercial dispute resolution acceptable to parties from different states. The bill eliminates numerous difficulties faced by parties in international commercial arbitration, particularly those caused by Section 9(b) of the Foreign Awards Act of 1961. This Section, which had caused much concern on the part of parties interested in doing business in India, has been repealed by the bill.

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*Current Developments
**The author is an international commercial arbitration expert in India. He participated, as a special invitee of the Government of India, in the deliberations of the Law Ministers Working Group to draft new arbitration law in its meetings at Bombay and Calcutta. He is a Governing Body Member of the International Centre For Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Indian Society of Arbitrators, and the Indian Council of Arbitration. Mr. Bansal is also head of M/s A. K. Bansal & Associates, Solicitors and Advocates, New Delhi, India.