RELEGATION OF APPLICATION FOR INTERIM MEASURES BY COURT TO TRIBUNAL UNDER THE ARBITRATION & CONCILIATION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2015
The Arbitration & Conciliation Amendment Act, 2015 (“Amendment Act”) came into force to rectify the infirmities of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (“1996 Act”) discovered in the due course of time. The legislative intent was to makearbitration more effective, time-bound and reduce the intervention of the Courts. Introduction of time-bound proceedings, limiting the interpretation of ‘public policy’ in S. 34 of the 1996 Act,removal of automatic stay on operation of award after challenging the award under S. 34 are some of the major highlights in this regard. Another crucial advancement in the law of Arbitration was giving the Arbitral Tribunal equal powers to that of the Court while deciding the application of interim measures. The Parliament in this regard amended S. 9 & S. 17. Under the 1996 Act, the Arbitral Tribunal’s order under S. 17 was not enforceable and hence, unlike the order for interim relief by a Court, the orders by the Tribunal were virtually ‘toothless’. It was perhaps realized by the Legislature that parties resorted to Courts for interim relief even after the constitution of Arbitral Tribunal since the powers of the Arbitral Tribunal were limited and not enforceable.