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Procedure for Setting Aside an Arbitration Award

Arbitration is a procedure in which a dispute is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute. In choosing arbitration, the parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court. Arbitration carries a few exclusive qualities, and one of these quality is its nature of being consensual, Arbitration arises because of a former agreement between two parties, which means that two parties agree with each other that they will first resort to arbitration rather than moving to court, and it is to understood that a party or a person who has formerly agreed to Arbitration maybe in form of contract, the party cannot withdraw its decision, it has to resort to arbitration first before going to court. 

The reason for the rise in agreements of arbitration was because of the efficiency of the Indian judicial services, the time it took for disposing off cases, so people decided to cope with alternate dispute resolution of which Arbitration is a part, further it is also confidential and not open to everyone with a very friendly atmosphere, one has the liberty to appoint its own arbitrators, place of arbitration can be chosen according to the comfort of the parties and after listing them the Arbitrator may pass an award or maybe an interim award . An award is similar to a judgement by the courts of law, however in case of arbitration the arbitrator grants it on the basis of the facts and evidences which might be in the form of monetary compensation or in the form of injunctions which depends and varies from case to case. The award passed by the arbitrator is binding upon the parties.

When we speak about the principle of Arbitration, it revolves around the fact that there should be a fair resolution which is carried out by an tribunal which is impartial without and delay or expense . The alternate dispute mechanisms like conciliation are also effective, however arbitration is binding and conciliation is not, in conciliation the parties have a right to opt out of they don’t like the decision but in arbitration it is binding and it can be set aside only through the procedure established by law.

When an award is passed by the tribunal, which is to be passed within twelve months, unless extended by the court which is in writing and singed by the members or member which is forming the arbitrating tribunal stating the reasons which makes the award including the date and place it is true that it might be faulty and it needs reconsideration, there is a mechanism which is provided itself in the arbitration act .

The interpretation and the amendment to the arbitral award which is defined under section 33 it provides the mechanism that, it is upon the discretion of the tribunal that if it feels that the request for the correction is appropriate the tribunal might do so within thirty days from the receipt of the award, further it is upon the tribunal to increase the time in which it may perform the correction of the award, or the interpretation of the award. In cases, on the request of the parties the tribunal may pass an additional award due to the proceedings if there was any mistake on the part of the tribunal while passing the award.

It is a well-known fact that anyone can pass a judgement that might be ruled, even the landmark judgements of the supreme court are overruled as far as human beings exist there is a scope for mistake, and that is why there was a need for a mechanism that can help set aside an award granted by the arbitration tribunal, it should be understood, that if there is an agreement of arbitration, an arbitration clause in a contract, a suit is barred by arbitration, which means that one cannot approach the court unless the parties have exhausted arbitration, which is to be completed under one year, unless extended by the Hon’ble high court of the respected jurisdiction, and if the extension fails then the mandate of the arbitration tribunal nullifies.


When an award Is passed it holds the authority of an act, and is to be implemented according to the procedure of the code of civil procedure. However there might be a case where the parties are not satisfied with award, so the act itself defines a method under section 34 :

  1. a party was under some incapacity; or
  2. the arbitration agreement was not valid under the governing law; or
  3. a party was not given proper notice of the appointment of the arbitrator or on the arbitral proceedings; or
  4. the award deals with a dispute not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of submissions to arbitration or it contains decisions beyond the scope of the submissions; or
  5. the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties; or
  6. the subject matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration; or
  7. the arbitral award is in conflict with the public policy of India.


Every remedy has a limitation and the limitation for setting aside an arbitral award is defined under section 34 (3) the limitation period provided is three months, from the date when the arbitral award was given.

The procedure of setting aside an arbitral award has new modifications, when the act was amended in 2015 the amendment was made to the original act was because of making arbitration a more amicable process to avoid as it eventually, limits the influx of cases upon the Indian judiciary and supports alternate dispute mechanisms. The amendments made to the act are substantial in nature as it eventually curtails the ambit of judicial interpretation and it makes the process much easier and quick, further the act also has effect of the judicial interference in arbitration.

There are a few more grounds which were included and modified in the amendment act of 2015, under section 34 (2) b there is power conferred to the court under which the court can decide upon, the fact of setting aside the arbitral award.

  1. When the dispute between the party is not in the capacity of being arbitrated i.e. it is not possible for the dispute to be settled through the entire process of arbitration
  2. The award so rendered is in contradiction with the public policy of our nation


The objective of the amendment was so questioned by the Bombay high court in the case of Municipal Corp. of Greater Mumbai v. Prestress Products as the opinion of the court the act imposed restrictions upon judicial involvement and it also places hurdles when it comes to the challenging an award.  Therefore, it can be concluded that even under arbitration there is a mechanism which can set aside an arbitration award, further one can also appeal further in higher courts. retrieved on 1st of July, 2019

Section 39 Arbitration Act 1996 Last retrieved on 1st of July, 2019

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Section 33, Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

 Section 34(3), Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015

Municipal Corp. of Greater Mumbai v. Prestress Products  (2003) 4 RAJ 363 (Bom)


Submitted by Naimish Tewari

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