EXTENSION OF TIME LIMIT FOR MAKING OF ARBITRAL AWARDS UNDER THE ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2019

Published On: 10/02/2020

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The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 had with effect from August 30, 2019 (the 'Effective Date'), amended Section 29A(1) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the 'Arbitration Act') to state, inter alia, the award in matters other than international commercial arbitration shall be made by the arbitral tribunal within a period of twelve months from the date of completion of pleadings under sub-section (4) of section 23. However, it was ambiguous whether the amended Section 29A(1) of the Arbitration Act will have retrospective application to arbitrations which had commenced prior to, but were pending adjudication as on the Effective Date. The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi has in the case titled 'Shapoorji Pallonji and Co. Private Limited v. Jindal India Thermal Power Limited', put the aforementioned ambiguity to rest vide its order dated January 23, 2020 wherein it has examined whether the amendments introduced to Section 29A(1) and Section 23(4) of the Arbitration Act will be applicable retrospectively. INDUSLAW's Mohit Chadha and Swati Mittal discuss.