"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.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Costs Allocation Under the Amended Indian Arbitration Law: A Critique

In a recent paper presented at the Conference on Dispute Management in Infrastructure Projects: New Challenges, May 19-20, 2017, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, this blawgger argues that even after the 2015 amendments, there has not been a marked change in the way in which courts award costs in arbitration related court proceedings. In the paper, this blawgger calls for costs allocation by courts and arbitral tribunals in accordance with best international practices as provided for in Section 31A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 as amended. The abstract of the paper is as follows:

"Section 31(8) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 as originally enacted dealt with costs in arbitration. The evolution of the law on the subject led to dissatisfaction. After numerous calls for reforms, the Law Commission of India in its 246th Report sought overhaul of the existing law on the subject. Based on the said Report, Section 31(8) stood replaced by a new provision on costs in the form of Section 31A. This paper examines if the new regime on costs allocation is satisfactory, especially in the light of objectives of the recent amendments. The paper specifically focuses on whether arbitral tribunal and courts award costs in the arbitral proceedings or in arbitration related court proceedings respectively in consonance with the objectives of the latest amendments to the Act."

The paper can be downloaded from this link. The presentation can be accessed from this link.