In Word and Deed? The Indian Supreme Court’s Approach to Scrutiny of Awards

It is no secret that Indian courts have previously faced criticism over their excessive interference in arbitral awards. However, there has been a course-correction in recent years, through legislation and judicial decisions. With the 2015 amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), it is clear that judicial scrutiny of arbitral awards should be extremely limited. Recent decisions of the Supreme Court of India (“Supreme Court”) on Section 34 of the Act (challenges to awards in India-seated arbitrations) also emphasise this position.

However, our analysis of the Supreme Court’s judgments between January 2020 through September 2021 demonstrates that while its decisions largely adhere to settled principles on Section 34, there have been a couple of notable outliers. The Supreme Court seems to be conscious of this tendency and recently even expressed some cautionary observations on it.

Please click here to read the full article by Anjali Anchayil, Tamoghna Goswami, and Pratik Joshi published in Kluwer Arbitration Blog.