Rajya Sabha passes Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Parliament has passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 after the Rajya Sabha cleared it on March 10, 2021. This bill was already passed in the Lok Sabha in February, 2021.

Key Points

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The legislation comprises of the provisions of dealing with the domestic and international arbitration. It defines the law to conduct conciliation proceedings. It replaces the Ordinance comprising of the same provisions that was promulgated on November 4, 2020. The legislation deals with the domestic and international arbitration.

Provisions of the Bill

  1. The bill comprises of the provision of “Automatic stay on awards”. Earlier, the act of 1996 had allowed the party to file application in order to set aside the order given in the arbitration proceeding.
  2. It specifies that the count can stay the arbitral award, even if there is pendency of setting aside of application, when the court is satisfied that relevant arbitration agreement or contract or making of award was induced by fraud or corruption.
  3. Schedule seven of the principal act (Act of 1996) specifies some qualifications, experience, and accreditation norms for the arbitrators. The arbitrator must be:
  • An advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 along with the 10 years of experience
  • An officer of Indian Legal Service.

The bill of 2021 removes the Schedule seven for arbitrators and mention that these qualifications, experience, and norms will only be specified under regulations by the regulators.

Background

The Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 is the main governing law of the arbitration. This act was enacted with the aim of consolidating and amending the law related to the international commercial arbitration, domestic arbitration and enforcement of the foreign award. It also seeks to define the law related to the conciliation.

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