Background to arbitration legislation:


The Indian law of arbitration is contained in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (Act).1
The Act is based on the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration
and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976. The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Act
recognises that India’s economic reforms will become effective only if the nation’s dispute
resolution provisions are in tune with international regime. The Statement of Objects and
Reasons set forth the main objectives of the Act as follows:
“i) to comprehensively cover international and commercial arbitration and conciliation as
also domestic arbitration and conciliation;
ii) to make provision for an arbitral procedure which is fair, efficient and capable of
meeting the needs of the specific arbitration;
iii) to provide that the arbitral tribunal gives reasons for its arbitral award;
iv) to ensure that the arbitral tribunal remains within the limits of its jurisdiction;
v) to minimise the supervisory role of courts in the arbitral process;
vi) to permit an arbitral tribunal to use mediation, conciliation or other procedures during
the arbitral proceedings to encourage settlement of disputes;
vii) to provide that every final arbitral award is enforced in the same manner as if it were
a decree of the court;
∗ The authors are partners of the law firm, Kachwaha & Partners.
1 Full text of the Act can be viewed at: http://www.kaplegal.com/statutes/index.html.
2
viii) to provide that a settlement agreement reached by the parties as a result of
conciliation proceedings will have the same status and effect as an arbitral award on
agreed terms on the substance of the dispute rendered by an arbitral tribunal; and
ix) to provide that, for purposes of enforcement of foreign awards, every arbitral award
made in a country to which one of the two International Conventions relating to
foreign arbitral awards to which India is a party applies, will be treated as a foreign
award.”

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