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Powers and Duties of the Arbitrator

BY – N.Mallika

Powers of Arbitrator.

  •  Power to administer an oath to the parties: According to section 13(a) of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Arbitrators have the power to administer oaths to the parties and the witness to the arbitration.
  • Power to take interim measures: Section 17 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 empowers the arbital tribunal to pass interim measures.
  • Power to proceed to ex-parte: Ex parte order is passed when a party fails to appear before the court without stating the sufficient cause for non-appearance. According to section 25 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,1996, Arbitrator has the power to proceed ex parte order in the absence of any of the parties to the arbitration.
  • Power to appoint an expert: According to section 26 of Arbitration and conciliation act, 1996, Arbitrator can appoint an expert to report to it on specific issues.
  • Power to make an award: After resolving the dispute the arbitrator gives the decision which is known as Arbitral Award. Arbitral award is binding on both the parties.

Duties of Arbitrator.

  • To be independent and impartial: According to section 12 and section 18 of the Arbitration and The Conciliation Act, 1996, It is the duty of the arbitrator to be independent and be impartial. He should not have any personal relationship with the parties to the arbitration. Arbitrators should give equal treatment to both the parties and should not favor one over another.
  • Duty of disclosure: According to section 12 of this act, It is the duty of the arbitrator to disclose all the relevant facts to both the parties at the time of first meeting.
  • To fix a time and place for arbitration: According to section 20 of The Arbitration and  Conciliation Act, 1996 it is the duty of the arbitrator to determine the time and place for arbitration if the parties does not have agreed upon the time and place for arbitration.The arbitrator needs to fix the time and place for arbitration according to the circumstances of cases and convenience of the parties.
  • Duty to efficiently resolve the dispute: It is the duty of the arbitrator to resolve the dispute efficiently, give equal treatment to both parties and provide them a fair chance of hearing. This was based on the principle of Natural justice.
  • Duty to determine the rules for the procedure: Firstly parties to the arbitration are given the choice to determine the rules of the procedure and if the parties do not have an earlier agreement on this then the arbitrator has to determine the rules for the procedure of the arbitration. According to section 19 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, an arbitrator is not bound by the rules of CPC or evidence act or any other statutes to determine the rules for the procedure of the arbitration.
  • Duty to correct or interpret the award: According to Section 33 of The Arbitration and  Conciliation Act 1996 it is the duty of the arbitrator to correct or interpret the award passed by himself within 30 days from the date of receipt.
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