What is the limitation period?
The timelines provided under this section are very strict. Following are the limitation period that the parties and the tribunal need to take in consideration with respect to Section 33:
- The application is to be circulated within 30 days of the receipt of the award, unless any other time frame has been decided by the parties.
- The request to correct the award has to be resolved by the tribunal within 30 days from the receipt of the request.
- An additional award being asked by either of the parties, shall also be applied within 30 days of the receipt of the award.
- An additional award should be made by the tribunal within 60 days from the receipt of the request.
The arbitral tribunal, under circumstances of a complicated award or a lengthy dispute, may extend the time for giving their interpretation, correction or an additional award.
Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the strict timelines provided under this provision have to be adhered to by the parties and the arbitral tribunal. The tribunal has no power under this provision to condone the delay.
This provision goes on in sync with Section 34. Section 34(3) provides for the date of disposal of a S. 33 application to be the date when the 3 month limitation time starts running for the award to be set aside.
It is to be noted that during the correction of award process (accepted by the tribunal) which may be completed in 90 days, the limitation period of 3 months for setting aside the award does not start. It is only after the disposal of a S. 33 application, when the time officially starts running.
However, if the tribunal does not accept a S. 33 application, then the time required to initiate such an application till the disposal of the same will not be excluded from the 3 months limitation period for a S. 34. If the intention of the legislature was to include the time even when the application had been denied, then it would amount to utter chaos by all parties to only waste such time for unnecessary issues. It would become an excuse for every party to initiate a S. 33 application so that the lawyers get more time to prepare for a S. 34 application later.
There are two situations to consider under this provision:
- Correction of clerical typographical errors, computation errors, etc.
In this situation, the errors so corrected do not generally require any interpretation. This does not change the substance of the award. Hence a new award is not to be passed. The correction part merges with the original award. A separate award is not passed in these circumstances.
- Separate Award:
Where the tribunal is clarifying a specific issue and interpreting it, or adding more value to the award, an additional award is issued. Similarly in situations where either of the parties are seeking for the tribunal to write on issues that were discussed during the oral and written proceedings but not mentioned in the final award, also require the tribunal to add content. This is facilitated by pronouncing an additional award. There is no question of merging in a separate award, instead the additional award forms a part of the final award.
Some examples for seeking an additional award are:
- Requiring the tribunal to assess the interest on a specific claim, which was discussed in the oral hearings but omitted in the published award.
- Seeking interpretation of a specific issue and asking the tribunal to put that in words
- A specific claim has not been provided under the arbitral award and needs to be included in the final award etc.
This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being.