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An analysis of Section 34 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

According to Wharton’s Law Lexicon, “Award” envisages a binding decision of judicial or quasi-judicial authority. Section 34 specifies about the application for setting aside an award. An arbitral award might be put aside by the court only if:

  • The party was under some incapacity
  • When the arbitration agreement is not under the law
  • When the party making the application was not given legitimate information or notice of the appointment of an arbitrator
  • It contains choice on issues past the extent of discretion
  • The arrangement of the council or arbitral system was not at standard with the understanding of the parties.

The award may also be set aside if the court finds out that:

  • The topic of the contest isn't fit for settlement by assertion under the law
  • The arbitral award is in strife with the open arrangement of India


2015- The Court in the case of ONGC Ltd V Saw Pipes Ltd[1] stated that the award may be set aside if it is against the ‘public policy of India’. Nowhere in the act has the term ‘public policy’ been defined. This was further explained in the case of Renusagar Power Co Ltd V General Electric Co[2], where the court held that can award can be set aside only if it is against (a) fundamental policy of India (b) interest of India (c) conflict with the basic concept of justice and morality.

2019- In Section 34 of the principal act, in sub-section (2), in clause (a), the term “furnishes proof that”, was substituted by the words “establishes on the basis of the record of the arbitral tribunal that”.


Sub-section (3) states that the party must approach the court within a period of 3 months from the date of receiving the award, if not the court must be fulfilled that the candidate was forestalled by adequate reason from making the application inside the said time of 3 months, it might engage the application for further time period of 30 days, and not thereafter.

Sub-section (5) states that if any one of the parties is filing for setting aside of the arbitral award, it should make sure that the other party gets a proper notice along with an affidavit by the applicant endorsing his compliance.

Sub-section (6) provides that the time limit for the disposal of the application. It provides for the disposing the application as fast as possible before the expiry of one year from the date of notice.


[1] AIR 2003 SC 2629.

[2] 1994 AIR 860, 1994 SCC Supl. (1) 644.

  • Introduction
  • Amendments to Section 34
  • Sub-sections

BY : Akshaya K

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