Judicial Intervention in Arbitral Process: A Paradigm Shift Post the “BALCO” Judgement


The year 2012 saw a momentous decision by the Supreme Court of India, a five-judge bench overruled the former disputatious judgment pronounced in the Bhatia International v. Bulk Trading SA in the verdict of Bharat Aluminium Co. v. Kaiser Technical Services. In its ruling, the bench confined the scope of intervention by the Indian courts in the process of arbitration which are conducted outside the jurisdictional boundaries of India by leaving out the applicability of Part I of the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. In the Bhatia, the Supreme Court reasoned on the issue on whether it could place to a request for episodic measures to an Indian court in the process of ICC arbitration which has its seat in Paris (outside the Indian territory). The appellant in Bhatia contented on the grounds that the Indian court had no competent jurisdiction and that Part I of the Arbitration and Reconciliation Act, did not apply to arbitration processes in which the seat of arbitration is outside the territorial boundary of India.

Authored by Arunav Bhattacharjya and Parvez Rahman, NLUJAA, Assam.