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The Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996

ACT No. 26 OF 1996

[16th August, 1996.]

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to domestic arbitration, international commercial arbitration and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards as also to define the law relating to conciliation and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Preamble. - WHEREAS the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration in 1985;

AND WHEREAS the General Assembly of the United Nations has recommended that all countries give due consideration to the said Model Law, in view of the desirability of uniformity of the law of arbitral procedures and the specific needs of international commercial arbitration practice;

AND WHEREAS the UNCITRAL has adopted the UNCITRAL Conciliation Rules in 1980;

AND WHEREAS the General Assembly of the United Nations has recommended the use of the said Rules in cases where a dispute arises in the context of international commercial relations and the parties seek an amicable settlement of that dispute by recourse to conciliation;

AND WHEREAS the said Model Law and Rules make significant contribution to the establishment of a unified legal framework for the fair and efficient settlement of disputes arising in international commercial relations;

AND WHEREAS it is expedient to make law respecting arbitration and conciliation, taking into account the aforesaid Model Law and Rules;

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

(2) It extends to the whole of India:

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.



CHAPTER I General provisions

Section 2 Definitions

Section 3 Receipt of written communications

Section 4 Waiver of right to object

Section 5 Extent of judicial intervention

Section 6 Administrative assistance


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

Section 10 Number of arbitrators

Section 11 Appointment of arbitrators

Section 11A Power of Central Government to amend Fourth Schedule

Section 12 Grounds for challenge

Section 13 Challenge procedure

Section 14 Failure or impossibility to act

Section 15 Termination of mandate and substitution of arbitrator


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

Section 18 Equal treatment of parties

Section 19 Determination of rules of procedure

Section 20 Place of arbitration

Section 21 Commencement of arbitral proceedings

Section 22 Language

Section 23 Statements of claim and defence

Section 24 Hearings and written proceedings

Section 25 Default of a party

Section 26 Expert appointed by arbitral tribunal

Section 27 Court assistance in taking evidence


CHAPTER VI Making of arbitral award and termination of proceedings

Section 28 Rules applicable to substance of dispute

Section 29 Decision making by panel of arbitrators

Section 29A Time limit for arbitral award

Section 29B Fast track procedure

Section 30 Settlement

Section 31 Form and contents of arbitral award

Section 31A Regime for costs

Section 32 Termination of proceedings

Section 33 Correction and interpretation of award; additional award


CHAPTER VII Recourse against arbitral award

Section 34 Application for setting aside arbitral awards


CHAPTER VIII Finality and enforcement of arbitral awards

Section 35 Finality of arbitral awards

Section 36 Enforcement



Section 37 Appealable orders


CHAPTER X Miscellaneous

Section 38 Deposits

Section 39 Lien on arbitral award and deposits as to costs

Section 40 Arbitration agreement not to be discharged by death of party thereto

Section 41 Provisions in case of insolvency

Section 42 Jurisdiction

Section 42A Confidentiality of information

Section 42B Protection of action taken in good faith

Section 43 Limitations



CHAPTER I New York Convention Awards

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 Savings



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



Section 82 Power of High Court to make rules

Section 83 Removal of difficulties

Section 84 Power to make rules

Section 85-86 Repeal and savings

Section 87 Effect of arbitral and related court proceedings commenced prior to 23rd October, 2015


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