Termination of Mandate of the Arbitrator
Section 14 governs the situation of termination of the mandate of the arbitrator because of his failure to act. Section 15 emphasises on the withdrawal of office by the arbitrator himself and thereafter substitution of his mandate.
Grounds for termination of the mandate under Section 14:
The grounds on which the mandate of an arbitrator can be terminated under section 14 are:
- The arbitrator becomes de jure or de facto unable to perform his function:
De Jure refers to an arbitrator’s legal incapacity to perform his functions under the law and relates to circumstances under which the arbitrator by law is barred from continuing in office.
For example: if an arbitrator becomes bankrupt or convicted for a criminal offence, then he becomes de jure unable to adjudicate the case.
De Facto refers to factual inability. It relates to a factual happening during the process of arbitration.
For example: if the arbitrator falls seriously ill or has some physical incapacity, then he becomes de facto unable to perform his function.
- For some other reasons fails to act without undue delay:
In situations where the arbitrator is taking too long to adjudicate the dispute, this provision shall apply. Especially when it comes to the 2015 Amendments, where strict timelines are provided for rendering the award, it is essential for the tribunal to pronounce the award in a timely manner. However, if the arbitrator takes too long to even conduct the first hearing, let alone adjudication of the case; the parties can resort to this provision to terminate the mandate of the arbitrator.
- The arbitrator withdraws from office:
For the reasons suitable to the arbitrator, if he withdraws from office, then automatically his mandate is terminated. This can happen because of various reasons and the arbitrator is not bound to give a detailed explanation of the same.
- The parties agree to the termination of his authority as an arbitrator
If one of the parties wants removal of the arbitrator, then they must approach the court for the same. However, if both the parties agree to remove the arbitrator, then they can do so pursuant to making an agreement under section 15(1)(b) and terminate the mandate of the arbitrator. A party singularly does not have the power to revoke the authority of the arbitrator. But both/all parties in the agreement can do the same and do not need to approach the court to enforce the termination.
Procedure for termination of an arbitrator’s mandate
If the situation falls within any of the grounds mentioned under section 14, then the party willing to terminate the mandate must approach the Court. An application for removing the arbitrator may be made to the court in whose jurisdiction the contract was executed, or subject matter of the work was performed, or within whose jurisdiction the office of the arbitrator was situated.
The power to remove an arbitrator by the court is discretionary in nature. Every application to the court under section 14 is not supposed to be ruled in the affirmative. There might be situations where the court does not feel the need to remove the arbitrator. If the conditions mentioned under section 14 are satisfied, then it is imperative for the court to remove the arbitrator.
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.