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Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

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HomeBrud.gifIndian LawBrud.gifIndian ActsBrud.gifArbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is an Indian Act (No 26 of 1996) related to Arbitration and Conciliation of disputes. It is effective August 16, 1996.

Features of the Act

  • Comprehensive Statute: Incorporates domestic, international and inter-state developments and arbitral awards
  • Explanatory Code: The Act is explanatory and a complete code in itself.
  • Curtailment of courts' power: Limited the power of court rather than restrict the judicial power.
  • Procedure: Provides detailed procedure and practice in hearings an settlements of claims and defects.
  • Precise powers of courts: Takes assistance of courts only in specific matters.
  • Power of Arbitrators: New code enhanced power of arbitrators in respect of Arbitral Tribunals jurisdiction, competence of arbitrators to rule etc.
  • International applicability: Interim award by international arbitral tribunals such as ICC/ Court Arbitration at London


The present act is substantially based on Foreign Awards (Recognition and Enforcement) Act, 1961, Arbitration (Protocol and Convention) Act, 1937 and Arbitration Act, 1940.

Contents of the Act

The Act contains a Preamble, 86 sections and 3 schedules. The act is divided into four parts.

  • Part I: Arbitration
  • Part II: Enforcement of certain foreign awards
  • Part III: Conciliation
  • Part IV: Supplement Provisions

Sections of the Act

Part I: General provisions of arbitration

This part contains Chapters I to X (Sections 1 to 43) and broadly deal with general provisions, arbitration agreement, arbitral tribunal and its composition, conduct of arbitral proceedings, making of arbitral award and termination of proceedings, recourse against arbitral award, finality & enforcement of award, appeals etc.

  • Section 1: Short title. extent and commencement

Chapter I: General provisions

Chapter II: Arbitration agreement

  • Section 7: Arbitration agreement
  • Section 8: Power to refer parties to arbitration where there is an arbitration agreement
  • Section 9: Interim measures etc. by Court

Chapter III: Composition of arbitral tribunal

Chapter IV: Jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals

  • Section 16: Competence of arbitral tribunal to rule on its jurisdiction
  • Section 17: Interim measures ordered by arbitral tribunal

Chapter V: Conduct of arbitral proceedings

Chapter VI: Making of arbitral award and termination of proceedings

Chapter VII: Recourse against arbitral award

  • Section 34: Application for setting aside arbitral award

Chapter VIII: Finality and enforcement of arbitral awards

  • Section 35: Finality of arbitral awards
  • Section 36: Enforcement

Chapter IX: Appeals

Chapter X: Miscellaneous

  • Section 38: Deposits
  • Section 39: Lien on arbitral award and deposits as to costs

Part II: Enforcement of certain foreign awards

This part is modeled on New York Convention Awards and Geneva Convention Awards. It has two Chapters - Chapter I and II and has Sections 44 to 60.

Chapter I: New York Convention Awards

  • Section 40: Arbitration agreement not to be discharged by death of party thereto
  • Section 41: Provisions in case of insolvency
  • Section 42: Jurisdiction
  • Section 43: Limitations
  • Section 44: Definition
  • Section 45: Power of judicial authority to refer parties to arbitration
  • Section 46: When foreign award binding
  • Section 47: Evidence
  • Section 48: Conditions for enforcement of foreign awards
  • Section 49: Enforcement of foreign awards
  • Section 50: Appealable orders
  • Section 51: Saving
  • Section 52: Chapter II not to apply

Chapter II: Geneva Convention Awards

  • Section 53: Interpretation
  • Section 54: Power of judicial authority to refer parties to arbitration
  • Section 55: Foreign awards when binding
  • Section 56: Evidence
  • Section 57: Conditions for enforcement of foreign awards
  • Section 58: Enforcement of foreign awards
  • Section 59: Appealable orders
  • Section 60: Saving

Part III: Conciliation

This part does not have any chapters. It has Section 61 to 81 and deal with conciliation machinery.

  • Section 61: Application and scope
  • Section 62: Commencement of conciliation proceedings
  • Section 63: Number of conciliators
  • Section 64: Appointment of conciliators
  • Section 65: Submission of statements to conciliator
  • Section 66: Conciliator not bound by certain enactments
  • Section 67: Role of conciliator
  • Section 68: Administrative assistance
  • Section 69: Communication between conciliator and parties
  • Section 70: Disclosure of information
  • Section 71: Co-operation of parties with conciliator
  • Section 72: Suggestions by parties for settlement of dispute
  • Section 73: Settlement agreement
  • Section 74: Status and effect of settlement agreement
  • Section 75: Confidentiality
  • Section 76: Termination of conciliation proceedings
  • Section 77: Resort to arbitral or judicial proceedings
  • Section 78: Costs
  • Section 79: Deposits
  • Section 80: Role of conciliator in other proceedings
  • Section 81: Admissibility of evidence in other proceedings

Part IV: Supplementary provisions

This part has no chapters. It contains of Sections 82 to 86 and three Schedules (First, Second and Third)

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