Setting Aside of the Arbitral Award: Scope of Section 34
Volume I – Issue I, 2020
Setting aside the Arbitral Award: Scope of Section 34″ is a subject of importance because Section 34 of the Act provides an insight into an arbitral tribunal’s procedure for setting aside an arbitral award that involves the Court’s intervention to set aside the award. For the smooth functioning of the arbitration system, assistance from the courts is required, but excessive intervention by the Court in the case of entertaining applications against arbitral awards must be avoided, as it would cause an unnecessary delay in arbitral proceedings, thereby defeating the objective of the Act. The Arbitration Act of 1940 failed to resolve the vagueness of the term “public policy of India” and the grounds for setting aside the arbitral award were also not clearly defined, thus giving the judiciary the opportunity to interpret them in accordance with their understanding and thus to increase the opportunity for judicial intervention in the arbitral process. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and the amendments made under the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 gave Section 34 of the Act a definite character and resolved certain issues related to it. This paper assesses Section 34 of the Act of 1996 and its amendments and the scope of judicial intervention. In addition, the amendments brought about by the 2015 Amendment Act were also evaluated, including the concept of “India’s public policy.”
Keywords: arbitration, setting aside arbitral award, section 34 of arbitration and concilaition act, 1996, public policy, patently illegal.