Attorney General to Supreme Court: Government Committee on Arbitration Act to examine Court's role in appointment of Arbitrators
The matter has been posted for consideration on 13 September
The Government of India has formed a committee to review the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, including the issue of whether the Courts (in an application under Section 11 of the Act), can deviate from the procedure agreed between parties for the appointment of arbitrators.
Attorney General R Venkataramani told a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court that since the Government had formed a Committee to examine the aspect, for the time being, the Top Court may defer hearing on the issue.
Senior Advocate Fali Nariman also concurred with the AG's submission, stating, "The government is planning to enact a law. The hearing may be deferred.”
Thereafter, the Court ordered, "We are informed that the Union government has formed an expert committee to look into the Arbitration and Conciliation Act and the AG states that issues arising before the Constitution Bench are also before the committee. After the committee’s report, the government will take a call if modification of legislation is warranted. Mr. Nariman has also made the same submission. We direct that the two references before the Constitution Bench be deferred for two months. List on 13 September 2023.”
The Constitution Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and comprising Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Justice PS Narasimha, Justice Pankaj Mithal, and Justice Manoj Misra, is examining the questions:
- Whether in an application under Section 11 of the Arbitration Act, the Courts can deviate from the agreed procedure of appointing arbitrators?
- Whether retired employees are rendered ineligible to act as arbitrators in cases involving their former employers?