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Eitzen Bulk A/S and Ors. v. Ashapura Minechem Ltd. and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (13 May 2016)

Stalling foreign arbitral award with Indian law rebuked



Where parties to a contract choose a seat of arbitration outside India and the law applicable is explicitly not Indian, courts in India do not have jurisdiction to entertain objections under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996.

The court ruled that by choosing London as the venue for arbitration, and by making English law applicable to arbitral proceedings, an inference could be made that no Indian law would be applicable. Further mentions to an ‘Umpire’ in the contract, a scheme unfamiliar in Indian arbitration law, presaged utilising only English law. The proclivity to institute proceedings in Indian courts when the intention was clearly not as much, however, earned the court’s ire. “The losing side has relentlessly resorted to apparent remedies for stalling the execution of the Award…typical of cases where even the fruits of Arbitration are interminably delayed”, said Justice Bobde.

Relevant : Harmony Innovation Shipping Limited v. Gupta Coal India Limited and Anr. MANU/SC/0231/2015 Union of India v. Reliance Industries Limited and Ors. MANU/SC/1064/2015 Section 34 Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996


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