"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well." -Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Arbitration Clause Referring to Non-Existent Arbitration Rules: Pricol v. Johnson

In a relatively recent decision in Pricol Ltd. v. Johnson Controls Enterprises Ltd. & Ors. [Arbitration Case (Civil No. 30 of 2014) dated 16 December 2014], the Supreme Court of India addressed a pathological arbitration clause and referred the parties to arbitration by virtually re-drafting the clause. Although the parties agreed in their arbitration clause for arbitration under the Singapore Chamber of Commerce, the Singapore Chamber of Commerce was not an arbitral institution having Rules for appointment of arbitrators. The Supreme Court held that the most reasonable construction of the said clause was that the reference was actually to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. This decision reflects a pro-arbitration approach that has been the feature of arbitration in India since 2012.

A short paper of this blawgger evaluates this decision.

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