Date: 25 October, 2020
by Upamanyu Ganguly, ILS Law College, Pune
Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereon ‘The Act’) lays the groundwork for overturning an arbitral award given by an arbitrator in an Arbitration Tribunal. The Section also lays the grounds for such overturning of an arbitral award.
PROCEDURE & GROUNDS FOR CHALLENGING AN ARBITRAL AWARD
Under Section 34 of the Act, the party that wants to appeal against an arbitral order must prove to the court that the award was given under questionable circumstances, for example, if the party was not able to present its case in front of the tribunal or if the dispute or a part of the dispute was beyond the scope of arbitration.
The court itself can decide whether to repeal the arbitral award if it finds that the award is against the public policy of India, and the court does not go into the merits of the dispute.
In order for the proceedings to begin, the party must file an application to the court, after sending a notice to the adversary party.
The Supreme Court in the case of Sanshin Chemical Industry v. Oriental Carbons and Chemicals Ltd., held that any decision regarding the venue of arbitration will not amount to an arbitral award or an interim award, and hence, cannot be appealable under Section 34 of The Act.
In the case of Brijendra Nath v. Mayank, the Supreme Court held that in a case where the parties have acted in accordance with the arbitral award, a party in such a case cannot challenge the award under section 34 of The Act.
In Dyna Technologies Pvt. Ltd. v. Crompton Greaves Ltd., the Court held that unintelligible or inadequately reasoned arbitral awards fall within the purview of Section 34, and should be set aside.
The Court in the case of Venture Global Engineering LLC and Ors. v. Tech Mahindra Ltd. and Ors. held that an arbitral award can be overturned only under the provisions of Section 34 of The Act and the court will not go into any external facts or merits of the dispute