Arbitration in India


Increasingly, arbitration is recognised as the most effective method of solving commercial disputes, especially those of an international dimension. It can achieve equitable solutions more quickly than litigation, and at less cost; it allows parties to adopt whatever procedure they choose for the resolution of differences; it enables parties to decide where disputes shall be heard.

Within and around Asia, India offers both the resources and a venue for Arbitrations and dispute resolution procedures and is dedicated in its mission to advancing and supporting arbitration as a means of resolving commercial disputes

The Indians have long been aware of the advantages of arbitration, acknowledging its value as a method of resolving disputes, and more recently has extended tradition by the statutory adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law for international commercial arbitration and the UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration, with relevant modifications to fit into its institutional framework.

With a sophisticated and well placed legal system, India is also a party to the New York Convention (on enforcement of arbitration awards) allowing arbitral awards to be enforced by the Courts in almost any country around the world.

Legal Framework

India has a comprehensive, contemporary and progressive legal framework to support international arbitration that is on a par with that of the world's leading arbitration institutions. Party autonomy and maximum judicial support with minimum judicial intervention are the abiding features of the New Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which provides for maximum judicial support of arbitration and minimal intervention.

Maximum Court Support

The courts in India offer full support and encouragement for arbitration. At the request of a party:

  • They stop a court case from being carried on in breach of an arbitration agreement
  • They enforce foreign arbitral awards made in New York Convention countries
  • They enforce awards made in international arbitrations taking place in India
  • They issue a wide range of interim measures of protection, including:
    • preservation and interim custody of the subject matter of the dispute
    • interim injunctions to preserve the status quo
    • appointment of receiver
    • securing the amount in dispute
    • securing costs of the arbitration
  • They issue processes to compel witnesses to attend arbitral proceedings

Minimum Court Interference

3 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law

Indian courts do not review the merits of an award in an arbitration, unless it is at the request of a party and only under restricted grounds of challenge laid down in the Arbitration Act. A foreign award may also only be reviewed according to a similarly limited set of criteria.

Cost-Effective Legal Services

In addition to using lawyers from their own country, parties to an international arbitration have the choice of being represented by experienced arbitration lawyers from among India's leading full service law firms with offices in all major cities of the country. This large pool of legal expertise is available at a cost that is considerably lower as compared to other countries of the world.

Arbitration in India offers parties to a dispute the advantages of

  • quality trained arbitrators
  • speed of resolution
  • a lower cost base
  • internationally enforceable decrees

It is not this alone however, which makes India a compelling choice for the conduct of international arbitration

With an open economy & pro-business environment, India offers substantial legal and business expertise - embracing all areas of comparative law, and of commercial/industrial practice - and makes this available to disputants through FACT, which operates under the aegis of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The country is excellently placed geographically. A sub-continent in itself and also a part of Asia, historically and linguistically linked to the English language, being the language of international business.

Finally there is the lure of the country itself. India lies in south Asia, between Pakistan, China and Nepal, bordered by the world's highest mountain chain. Side by side with the country's staggering topographical variations is its cultural diversity, offering visitors a complete experience in itself.










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