Interim Measures in Arbitration: An Overview of Section 9
Welcome to the first article in our series on interim measures under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. This series aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the provisions and principles related to interim measures in arbitration proceedings in India. In this article, we will delve into the details of Section 9 of the Act, its scope, and its application in various judgments.
Understanding Section 9
Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is a crucial provision that empowers the court to grant interim measures before or during the arbitral proceedings or after the passing of the arbitral award. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the parties to the dispute do not resort to self-help or take steps that could potentially harm the other party or frustrate the arbitration process.
The types of interim measures that can be granted under Section 9 include:
- The preservation, interim custody, or sale of any goods which are the subject matter of the arbitration agreement.
- Securing the amount in dispute in the arbitration.
- The detention, preservation, or inspection of any property or thing which is the subject matter of the dispute in arbitration, or as to which any question may arise therein and authorizing for any of the aforesaid purposes any person to enter upon any land or building in the possession of any party, or authorizing any samples to be taken or any observation to be made, or experiment to be tried, which may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of obtaining full information or evidence.
- Interim injunction or the appointment of a receiver.
- Such other interim measure of protection as may appear to the court to be just and convenient.
Case Laws and Application of Section 9
The application of Section 9 has been clarified in various judgments. For instance, in the case of Firm Ashok Traders and Anr vs Gurumukh Das Saluja and Ors, the Supreme Court held that the power of the court to grant interim measures under Section 9 does not cease upon the passing of the arbitral award. This ensures that the award can be effectively and properly enforced.
In another landmark judgment, Sundaram Finance Ltd. vs NEPC India Ltd., the Supreme Court held that the court has the power to grant interim measures under Section 9 even before the commencement of the arbitration proceedings. This is crucial to prevent any irreparable harm that could be caused to the party seeking the interim relief.
In conclusion, Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 plays a pivotal role in the arbitration process by empowering the court to grant interim measures. It ensures that the arbitration process is not frustrated and that the parties do not resort to self-help. In the next article, we will delve into the interplay between Section 9 and Section 17 of the Act, which also deals with interim measures but from the perspective of the arbitral tribunal.