Section 11(6) of The Arbitration Act IV

The 1996 Act has been framed for expeditious resolution of disputes. Various time lines have been provided [Section 8; Section 9(2); Section 13; Section 16(2); Section 34(3)]. The 1996 Act was amended by The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 to incorporate further provisions for expeditious disposal of Arbitral Proceedings [Section 11(13); Section 29A; Section 34(6) {State of Bihar v. Bihar Rajya Bhumi Vikas Bank Samiti (2018) 9 SCC 472}]. Section 11 does not prescribe any time period for filing an application under Sub-Section (6) for appointment of an Arbitrator.

None of the Articles in the Schedule to The Limitation Act, 1963 provide a time period for filing an application for appointment of an Arbitrator. It would be covered by the residual provision Article 137, which provides a period of 3 years from the date when the right to apply accrues. However, this is an unduly long period. It would be necessary for Parliament to effect an amendment to Section 11, prescribing a specific period of limitation within which a party may move the Court for making an application for appointment of the Arbitrator under Section 11 of The 1996 Act.

Hon’ble Justice Indu Malhotra, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. v. M/s. Nortel Networks India Pvt. Ltd., [Civil Appeal Nos. 843-844 of 2021].

Also see, Secunderabad Cantonment Board v. M/s. B. Ramachandraiah & Sons, [Civil Appeal Nos. 900-902 of 2021] decided on 15.03.2021.