Title: Exclusive Jurisdiction and Seat of Arbitration: Examining the Indian Arbitration Landscape
Author(s): Sagar Gupta
Journal: Indian Review of International Arbitration
Erroneous interpretation of statutory provisions and misapplication of dicta laid down by the Supreme Court of India ["SCI"] in the Bharat Aluminium Co. v. Kaiser Aluminium Technical Services Inc. ["BALCO"] has caused some uncertainty in determining which courts exercise jurisdiction over arbitrations in India. This error is largely owed to the courts having imported the concept of arbitral seat into domestic arbitrations without any legislative basis. Such misapplication of a concept from international arbitrations has caused an inconsistency within the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 and has led to an incoherent and disjointed understanding of the scope of party autonomy in drafting arbitration agreements in light of mandatory statutory language. The 246th Report of the Law Commission of India on Amendments to the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 sought to remedy this situation; however, the resulting amendments in 2015 did not reflect the change. This article examines the legal framework surrounding exclusive jurisdiction clauses in arbitration in India and the relationship between arbitral seat and exclusive jurisdiction. In the light of the text of the legislation, the position taken by courts is seemingly practical, yet arguably without statutory basis. Therefore, relevant amendments to the legislation have been suggested to clarify the scope of arbitral seat in Indian arbitrations.
Keywords: Exclusive Jurisdiction; Part; I arbitration, BALCO, Indus Mobile and BGS Soma
Cite this as: Sagar Gupta, Exclusive Jurisdiction and Seat of Arbitration: Examining the Indian Arbitration Landscape, 1 IRIArb 94, 94-113 (2021).
*The views expressed are that of author(s) only.