Can a party raise fresh grounds for setting aside an award in proceedings under Section 37 of Arbitration Act?

In Azizur Rehman v. Radio Restaurant [2023 SCC OnLine Bom 2320], the Hon’ble Bombay High Court dismissed an appeal under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the “Act”), inter alia because the appellants raised fresh grounds of challenge that were not raised in prior proceedings under Section 34 of the Act.

While the Hon’ble Court also considered and rejected the challenges raised by the appellants on merits, it found that in any event, the appeal failed on two preliminary grounds: first, that the appellants’ entire challenge under Section 37 was against the arbitral award while the final order in the Section 34 proceedings was, in fact, not assailed; and second, that the grounds of challenge raised under Section 37 were “not taken as a ground of challenge to the Arbitral Award in the Petition filed under Section 34.” As per the Hon’ble Court, either of these preliminary grounds alone constituted sufficient reason for the Section 37 appeal to fail.

Please click here to read the full article by Divyam Agarwal and Aniket Aggarwal published in Bar & Bench.