ANALYSIS OF- AMAZON.COM NV INVESTMENT HOLDINGS LLC V. FUTURE COUPONS PRIVATE LIMITED & ORS
Clarity towards the Stance of Emergency Arbitrator in Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
An Emergency Arbitrator [EA] is a remedy for seeking urgent interim relief before forming an arbitral tribunal. One of the goals of appointing an Emergency Arbitrator is to achieve a faster resolution than that obtained through the national courts under section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. In the present case of AMAZON.COM NV INVESTMENT HOLDINGS LLC V. FUTURE COUPONS PRIVATE LIMITED & ORS judgement dated 18th march 2021.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The petitioner Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings, whereas the respondents are Future Coupons Pvt. Ltd. and Future Retail Limited (FRL). The disagreement arose when FRL, managed by Biryanis, approved transferring its tangible assets to a Restricted Person in violation of contractual responsibilities, contrary to the shareholders' agreement between petitioner and respondent no.1.
As a result, the petitioner has commenced arbitration procedures following the Shareholders Agreement's arbitration clause. According to one of the Agreement's provisions, the Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) would apply to the resolution of disputes between the parties. In addition, the agreement will be governed by the Indian legislature. Following that, following SIAC rules, the petitioner applied for the appointment of an emergency arbitrator, which resulted in the work of the same.
- What is the legal status of an Emergency Arbitrator?
- Whether a remedy or order can be obtained from the emergency arbitrator under Arbitration and Conciliation Act?
- Recognition of enforcement of an order of Emergency Arbitrators.
FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS OF THE COURT
The legal status of an Emergency Arbitrator
The Court held that the concept of an emergency arbitrator is based upon party autonomy as the law gives complete freedom to the parties to choose an arbitrator or an arbitral institution. Further, the emergency arbitrator is an arbitrator for all purposes.
A litigant can receive justice within 15 days through this system, yet if the Emergency Arbitrator's order is not followed, the entire procedure will be rendered useless.
The parties consented to the rules relating to Emergency Arbitration in this case by agreeing to incorporate the SIAC Rules into the arbitration agreement.
The current legal structure is sufficient to recognise the Emergency Arbitration, and no changes were necessary.
Order obtained from Emergency Arbitrator
The order of the emergency arbitrator is binding upon the parties but not on the subsequently constituted arbitral tribunal, which has the power to reconsider, modify, terminate or annul the order/award of the emergency arbitrator.
The court stated that section 2(1)(d) of the Act, which defines an arbitral tribunal, is wide enough to include an Emergency Arbitrator, as it is part of the sole arbitrator. Therefore, there exist the same powers to an emergency arbitrator as provided to the arbitral tribunal under the Act.
Enforcement of order
it was held that the order passed by the emergency arbitrator is an order under Section 17(1) and enforceable as an order of the Court under Section 17(2) of the Act.
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