The Decision in Amazon v. Future Retail on the Enforceability of Emergency Arbitrator Decisions in India The judgement brings much-needed clarification to the problem, at least in relation to Emergency Arbitrator decisions in Indian arbitrations. The Indian Supreme Court ruled on August 6, 2021, that a "award" issued by an emergency arbitrator ("EA") under the SIAC Arbitration Rules qualifies as an order under section 17(1) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (the "Act") and is enforceable as such. The decision gives much-needed clarification on the subject, at least in relation to EA decisions rendered in Indian arbitrations. EA rulings issued in arbitrations held outside of India, on the other hand, would not benefit from this decision and will not be directly enforced by Indian courts at this time. Another significant implication of the decision is that EA decisions (in India-seated arbitrations) can now be contested in Indian courts. Analysis of the decision and its potential ramifications Various institutional arbitration rules have recently included emergency arbitration as a new feature. The concept of an emergency arbitrator was unknown when Parliament passed the Act in 1996. At the time, there were no institutional procedures governing EA decisions. Parliament could not have imagined or intended that an emergency arbitrator would be included in the definition of "arbitral tribunal" in 1996. It's possible that states like Singapore (2012) and New Zealand (2016) extended the definition of arbitral tribunal to expressly include an EA within its scope through legislation modifications. Such changes would not have been necessary if the concept of "arbitral tribunal" already included an EA in its scope. Once an arbitral panel has been established, an Indian court would generally not accept an application for interim measures under section 9. According to the Supreme Court's decision in Amazon, once an EA has been appointed (even if the arbitral panel has not been formed) in an India-seated arbitration, a plea for interim relief will most likely be denied by Indian courts. However, as previously stated, Indian courts may consider a section 9 motion for interim relief in order to indirectly enforce an EA ruling in cases involving arbitrations held outside of India. The Supreme Court's ruling has significantly increased the effectiveness of EA judgements in the Indian setting and reaffirms the pro-arbitration trend that India's arbitration law is on.
Tags : #SUPREME COURT OF INDIA #SUPPREME COURT #EMERGENCY ARBITRATOR #INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION #AMAZON V. FUTURE GROUP