Session Digests

  • January 23, 2021

In this session, SEAL discussed the doctrine of separability in the context of the division bench order of the Delhi High Court in NV Investment Holdings LLC v. Future Retail Ltd. & Ors. This session was moderated by Snehil Balani. The discussion covered the recent developments in the dispute and brain-stormed on the relevance of Section 16 and other important judgments in the context of separability. Arguments to justify the arbitration agreement as void for the same being patently illegal and impacted by fraud and affecting public policy were also brought forth and discussed in detail. The session concluded, highlighting the difference in perspectives of the courts and the arbitral tribunal.

  • December 19, 2021

In this session, SEAL held an open discussion on different nuances of the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court in NV Investment Holdings LLC v. Future Retail Ltd. & Ors. The session started off by understanding the facts of the case followed by discussing the two major aspects covered by the court, firstly, an award delivered by an Emergency Arbitrator to be an order under section 17(1) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and secondly, an order passed under section 17(2) in the enforcement of such an award being non-appealable under section 37(2) of the Act. The session then discussed the need for recognition of Emergency Awards (in India) passed in an International Commercial Arbitration seated outside India because the Amazon judgment recognises only domestically seated Emergency Awards.

  • May 23, 2021:

SEAL ended the academic session with a discussion centred around Investor-State arbitration in light of the Cairn v. India arbitration. The session was moderated by Parimal Kashyap and Siddhant Ahuja. The discussion began with Parimal giving a brief introduction of the investor-state arbitration including the origins of BITs and the history of investment arbitration concerning India. Siddhant moved the discussion to Cairn v. India arbitration (dissussed here), the background to the dispute, the final award, and the nuances of Fair and Equitable Treatment (‘FET’) standard. The session concluded with a lively conversation on the relevance of domestic law while evaluating an FET breach, the enforcement of awards under ICSID and New York Convention regime, the sovereign immunity defence and the limited exceptions to it. The award in Cairn v. India is now accessible here.

  • March 25, 2020:

In light of the raging pandemic, we at SEAL have decided to take our discussion sessions online. We hosted our first virtual session on ‘Unilateral Clauses – The Case of Unilateral Arbitration and Appointment Clauses‘. The session was conducted by Ramachandran Balachandran and was moderated by Utkarsh Khandelwal and Kishan Gupta. The discussion moved from the basic understanding of unilateral clauses to their International and Indian position. The participants also discussed the impacts of the Perkins Eastman judgment on this conundrum. The PPT used for the session is attached here for your kind reference.

  • March 03, 2020: 

The recent session of the Society was conducted on the topic ‘Expedited Procedures in International Arbitration’. It was moderated by Animekh Pandey (first-year member) and Kishan Gupta (fifth-year member). It was the first time that a first-year member was moderating a session. The discussion focused upon the expedite procedures which are adopted in the arbitral rules of the institutions to resolve the lacunae associated with International Arbitration. It also touched upon the introduction of Artificial Intelligence in this area and resulted in the formation of some research questions.

  • January 23, 2020:

The Society conducted a session on ‘Pre-Arbitral Judicial Interference in India. Through the session, members explored the trends in pre-arbitral interference beginning from the Supreme Court judgments in Konkan Railways and Patel Engineering to recent reforms in the form of 2015 Amendments and the judicial pronouncements that followed the Amendments. The session was moderated by our second-year members Archi Jain and Parnika Mishra. A brief account of the session can be found here.

  • January 19, 2020:

The Society was glad to host Mr. Ramesh Kumar Maali, (Senior Associate (Law), Gas Authority of India Limited), for a session on ‘Arbitration in Energy in Infrastructure Industry’. Mr. Maali shared the nuances of practical aspects of arbitration in the PSU sector. The discussion was focused on the importance of business acumen and principles of equity during the arbitration proceedings. He further explained the role of industry knowledge and proper documentation during the drafting and performance of the contract to avoid any adverse eventuality in case of a conflict. The session involved deliberations on practical examples regarding cross-cutting issues between arbitration and other laws such as the Limitation Act, Specific Relief Act and the Indian Contract Act.

  • January 09, 2020:

SEAL started off the new year with a discussion on ‘Seat Venue Conundrum’ in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in BGS SGS Soma JV v. NHPC. The discussion was moderated by Ayushi Singh (second-year member) and Saurabh Tiwari (fourth-year member). It revolved around the question of designating venue as the juridical seat of arbitration in the absence of any contrary intention of the parties. The recent case, along with other relevant precedents central to the seat-venue debate, was discussed at length. Further, the members briefly touched upon the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of the courts at the juridical seat of arbitration.

  • November 04, 2019:

Before the conclusion of the academic session, the members of the society felt the need to conduct a discussion session on the ‘Arbitration & Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019′. This session was moderated by Rhythm Kataria and Siddhant Ahuja (both third-year members) and was joined by various students from different batches. Major changes to the act and their plausible effects on the present regime was the theme of the discussion. Rhythm primarily covered the changes pertaining to the appointment of arbitrator under Section 11, reliance on proof under Section 34 and timelines regarding award and submission of pleadings. Introduction of Arbitration Council of India, grading of Arbitral Institution, qualifying criteria for the appointment of arbitrators and the application of the Amendment Act was covered by Siddhant. The discussion also touched upon the viability of this unique step taken by the legislation and its practical implications on the ongoing arbitrations as well as the disputes that might arise in the future.

  • October 10, 2019:

The series of Introductory lectures concluded with the third and the final session on the topic ‘Arbitration Awards and Arbitral Proceedings’. The session was moderated by Utkarsh Khandelwal and Parimal Kashyap (both fourth-year members) and witnessed the participation of the students from across the batches. A brief overview of the types of arbitration and laws applicable to arbitration proceedings was covered by Parimal. Utkarsh discussed the concepts of enforcement and setting aside of the award. While discussing the supervisory role of the courts, SEAL also touched upon the leading cases and surrounding controversies.

  • October 10, 2019:

In the second session of the series of Introductory Lectures, Kishan Gupta (fifth-year member) briefly discussed the ‘Evolution of the 1996 Arbitration Act in India’ We covered the legislative journey from Arbitration (Protocol and Convention) Act, 1937 to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 along with the 2015 and 2019 amendments. Subsequently, he discussed the scheme of the Act, important provisions and contentious issues related to arbitration in India. Rashika Bajpai (fifth-year member) was also present to cater to questions related to the previous session and conduct a quick round-up of the earlier discussions before the start of the second session.

  • September 09, 2019:

SEAL started off the new academic session with a lecture on ‘Key Concepts of Arbitration Law’. This was conducted as the first part of a series of Introductory Lectures on the Law of Arbitration. The session was moderated by Rashika Bajpai (fifth-year member), Edwin C. Thangaraj (fourth-year member) and Gaurav Kumar (third-year member) and witnessed participation of students from the freshers’ batch. These lectures are specially tailored for those who do not have much idea about the intricacies of the law and will be of great help to prepare a base for them to participate in future discussions. A PowerPoint presentation used in the session can be accessed here.

  • 8th March 2019:

On Friday, a session on ‘Harmonization and Delocalization of International Arbitration’ was organized by the Society and was moderated by third-year members, Ayushi Tiwari and Parimal Kashyap. It involved discussion on various international rules, treatises, and conventions which were essentially framed to harmonize the practice of international arbitration throughout the world. Further, a dialogue on the requirement of delocalized arbitration and its viability in the present-day world took place. A PowerPoint presentation prepared by Parimal can be found here.

  • March 01, 2019:

Mr. Abhishek Dwivedi (Associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas) took a session for the Society on How ‘International’ Should an International Arbitration be?‘. The session majorly dealt with the sundry approaches followed throughout the world to determine the “international” element in international commercial arbitration (ICA) and how the purely ‘nationality’ based Indian approach differs from the one envisioned under UNCITRAL Model Law. Subsequent to this, the question of whether two Indian parties can have a foreign seat of arbitration was discussed in light of the fact that ‘seat of arbitration’ is not the approach that India has adopted in the 1996 Act to define ICA under Section 2(1)(f). A list of cases that were discussed in the session can be found here.

  • February 21, 2019:

Recently, the Society concluded a session on Arbitrability of Intellectual Property Disputes. It was moderated by Nitansha Nema and Kishan Gupta (both 4th years). A PowerPoint presentation used in the session can be found here.

  • February 15, 2019:

The Friday session was on the topic of the position of ‘Non-signatories to an Arbitration Agreement’. It was moderated by Ramachandran and Gaurav (both 2nd years) and culminated on an evaluation of the recent Del HC decision of Cox & Kings Ltd. v. IRCTC wherein the court refused to bind a non-signatory to the concerned arbitration agreement. A PowerPoint presentation used in the session can be found here.

  • January 29, 2019:

SEAL conducted a preliminary session on ‘The Fundamentals of Arbitration Law’ and discussed the important provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The session was moderated by Rashika Bajpai and Kishan Gupta and sought the participation of mostly the freshers of the University.

  • October 26, 2018:

A thought-provoking session on the ‘Role of Technology in International Arbitration’ was conducted by the Society. The session was moderated by Kishan Gupta and Nitansha Nema. Kishan discussed the impact and possible uses of Blockchain Technology to make the whole process of arbitration more cost and time effective. At the same time, Nitansha discussed other technological developments taking place in the field like the Arbitrator Intelligence project of Catherine Rogers.

  • February 02, 2018:

The Society conducted a session on the topic ‘Interim Reliefs: Section 9 v. Section 17′ which was taken by Mr. Abhishek Dwivedi (Associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas). It majorly involved a discussion on the considerations that Indian courts and arbitral tribunals keep in mind while granting interim reliefs to the requesting parties.

  • January 15, 2018:

A session on ‘The Concept of “Seat” in Arbitration’ was taken by Kashish Sinha, Kishan Gupta, and Rashika Bajpai. The discussion varied from the importance and significance of the choice of seat in international commercial arbitration to the approach adopted by courts and arbitral tribunals when parties fail to designate seat.

  • October 25, 2017:

We conducted a session in the university on the topic of ‘Arbitrability of Disputes and Why it is Quintessential?’. The session was moderated by Kashish Sinha and majorly involved discussion on the arbitrability of consumer disputes in light of the recent Aftaab Singh judgment of the NCDRC. The session stems out from the paper of Mr. Sinha due to be published in the VII Volume of Indian Journal of Arbitration Law, which can also be accessed here.