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THE ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION ACT, 1996

Title : THE ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION ACT, 1996

Year : 1996



(1) In this Part, "arbitration agreement" means an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship, whether contractual or not.

(2) An arbitration agreement may be in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract or in the form of a separate agreement.

(3) An arbitration agreement shall be in writing.

(4) An arbitration agreement is in writing if it is contained in-

(a) A document signed by the parties;

(b) An exchange of letters, telex, telegrams or other means of telecommunication 1*[including communication through electronic means] which provide a record of the agreement; or

(c) An exchange of statements of claim and defence in which the existence of the agreement is alleged by one party and not denied by the other.

(5) The reference in a contract to a document containing an arbitration clause constitutes an arbitration agreement if the contract is in writing and the reference is such as to make that arbitration clause part of the contract.

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1. Inserted by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, w.e.f. 23.10.2015.

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1*[(1) A judicial authority, before which an action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement shall, if a party to the arbitration agreement or any person claiming through or under him, so applies not later than the date of submitting his first statement on the substance of the dispute, then, notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of the Supreme Court or any Court, refer the parties to arbitration unless it finds that prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists.;]

(2) The application referred to in sub-section (1) shall not be entertained unless it is accompanied by the original arbitration agreement or a duly certified copy thereof.

2*[Provided that where the original arbitration agreement or a certified copy thereof is not available with the party applying for reference to arbitration under sub-section (1), and the said agreement or certified copy is retained by the other party to that agreement, then, the party so applying shall file such application along with a copy of the arbitration agreement and a petition praying the Court to call upon the other party to produce the original arbitration agreement or its duly certified copy before that Court.]

(3) Notwithstanding that an application has been made under sub-section (1) and that the issue is pending before the judicial authority, an arbitration may be commenced or continued and an arbitral award made.

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1. Substituted by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, w.e.f. 23.10.2015, for the following:

"(1) A judicial authority before which an action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement shall, if a party so applies not later than when submitting his first statement on the substance of the dispute, refer the parties to arbitration."

2. Inserted by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, w.e.f. 23.10.2015.

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1*[(1)] A party may, before, or during arbitral proceedings or at any time after the making of the arbitral award but before it is enforced in accordance with section 36, apply to a court-

(i) For the appointment of a guardian for a minor or person of unsound mind for the purposes of arbitral proceedings; or

(ii) For an interim measure or protection in respect of any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) The preservation, interim custody or sale of any goods which are the subject-matter of the arbitration agreement;

(b) Securing the amount in dispute in the arbitration;

(c) The detention, preservation or inspection of any property or thing which is the subject-matter of the dispute in arbitration, or as to which any question may arise therein and authorising for any of the aforesaid purposes any person to enter upon any land or building in the possession of any party, or authorising any samples to be taken or any observation to be made, or experiment to be tried, which may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of obtaining full information or evidence;

(d) Interim injunction or the appointment of a receiver;

(e) Such other interim measure of protection as may appear to the Court to be just and convenient, and the Court shall have the same power for making orders as it has for the purpose of, and in relation to, any proceedings before it.

2*[(2) Where, before the commencement of the arbitral proceedings, a Court passes an order for any interim measure of protection under sub-section (1), the arbitral proceedings shall be commenced within a period of ninety days from the date of such order or within such further time as the Court may determine.

(3) Once the arbitral tribunal has been constituted, the Court shall not entertain an application under sub-section (1), unless the Court finds that circumstances exist which may not render the remedy provided under section 17 efficacious.]

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1. Re-numbered by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, w.e.f. 23.10.2015.

2. Inserted by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, w.e.f. 23.10.2015.

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Last updated on October, 2016

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