Section 26 of The Arbitration Act

Section 26 of The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 has to be construed literally first, and then purposively and pragmatically. Section 26 is indeed in two parts, separate and distinct. Whereas the first part refers only to Arbitral Proceedings before an Arbitral Tribunal, the second part refers to Court Proceedings “in relation to” Arbitral Proceedings. Section 26 bifurcates proceedings with a great degree of clarity. The Amendment Act is prospective in nature.

From a reading of Section 26 it becomes clear that all cases where a Section 34 Petition is filed after the commencement of The Amendment Act, and a Stay Application has been made under Section 36, will be governed by Section 34 as amended and Section 36 as substituted. What happens to Section 34 Petitions filed before the commencement of The Amendment Act, which were governed by Section 36 of The Old Act? Section 36, as substituted, would apply even to pending Section 34 Applications on the date of commencement of The Amendment Act.

Hon’ble Justice R.F. Nariman, Board of Control for Cricket in India v. Kochi Cricket Pvt. Ltd., [Civil Appeal Nos. 2879-2880 of 2018].