Can a New Arbitrator be appointed after the award is set aside?

Team SoOLEGAL 19 Apr 2021 5:10pm

Can a New Arbitrator be appointed after the award is set aside?

The Calcutta High Court had recently ruled on whether a Court would nominate a different Arbitrator to one who passed the disputed award as both the award-debtor and the award-holder desired it. Justice Moushami Bhattacharya while hearing the case had referred to Section 43(4) of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which states that all redressal doors should be kept open and had also referred to Section 89 of CPC that encourages the Court to take part in forming of settlement process.

The Court had also addressed how the Act's rules for appointing arbitrators, under Sections 11 and 34 (4) of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, would not extend to the question before it. The Bench had determined that since both clauses do not apply in this case, a new arbitrator should be appointed to hear the case again. The Bench had adopted the principle of party autonomy. The Arbitration Act guarantees party autonomy at all stages, from dispute settlement to the process of challenging the award. As a result, in the present situation, the parties' right to choose the next course of action should be maintained.

The Bench had decided that the fundamental objective was to ensure the arbitrator's independence and impartiality. Since the facts in this case directly fall within the safeguards specified in Section 12 of the said Act, the award in question should be set aside and a new arbitrator should be appointed.

Tagged: Calcutta High Court   Justice Moushami Bhattacharya   Arbitration and Conciliation Act   fundamental rights  
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