Hello! Welcome back to our updates from the world of arbitration.

Cairn energy has reportedly secured a French Court’s order to seize 20 properties of Indian Government  to partially recover a $1.7 billion arbitration award. The Finance Ministry has clarified that it has not received any notice, order or communication from any French Court. Our partner – Ms. Mani Gupta – spoke to The New Indian Express regarding this development and the Indian government’s options from here.

In an editorial published in the Indian Express, an advocate of Supreme Court has argued for a 360-degree commitment from all stakeholders towards arbitral fees and timelines, stringent procedural safeguards to curb delays, expeditious disposal of the court proceedings and legislative intent towards the above would ensure that arbitration is able to outperform other modes as a method of dispute resolution.

From the docket 

The Supreme Court in Silpi Industries v. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has clarified that the provisions of Limitation Act, 1963 will apply to the arbitration proceedings under section 18(3) of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006. The Supreme Court also held that the right of the parties to file counterclaims and set off  cannot be curtailed under Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006.

The Delhi High Court in Golden Tobie v. Golden Tobacco ruled that when the assignment of a trademark is done through a contract and not by a statutory act, the matter can be referred to arbitration provided there is a valid arbitration agreement. The assignment of a trademark  does not involve any exercise of sovereign functions of the State, the High Court further held.

In KLA Const Technologies v. Embassy Of Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan, the Delhi High Court has held that under section 86(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 prior consent of the Central Government is not required to proceed with enforcement of an arbitral award against a foreign State. A foreign State cannot claim sovereign immunity against enforcement of an arbitral award in a commercial transaction.

In Swastik Pipe v. Shri Ram Autotech, the Delhi High Court upheld an arbitration clause contained in the terms and conditions under invoice. Examining the scope of section 7 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the court held that signature of either party on the Arbitration Agreement is not mandatory.

In SREI Equipment Finance v. Marg, the Calcutta High Court has relied on the Supreme Court’s order dated 27.04.2021 in Miscellaneous Application No.665 of 2021 in Suo Motu (C) No.3 of 2020, wherein the Supreme Court underscoring the rise in COVID cases during the second wave, restored the order dated 23.03.2020 and in continuation of order dated 08.03.2021, extended the limitation period, as prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings. The Calcutta High Court noting the intention of the Supreme Court to lessen the difficulties faced by litigants in the pandemic held that the time period under section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to file objection against an arbitral award also stands extended. Consequently, when the time period under section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996  has not expired, the execution petition filed under section 36 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 shall be halted till the orders of the Supreme Court are modified. However, in the interest of equity, the court granted 10 days to  the Award debtor to avail its remedy under the Act.

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