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Parliament Passes Arbitration & Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 For Automatic Stay On Awards Induced By Fraud/ Corruption

The Rajya Sabha passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021by voice vote. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on February 12, 2021. It will replace the Ordinance promulgated on 4 November 2020. It seeks to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 so as to (i) enable automatic stay on awards in certain cases and (ii) specify by regulations the qualifications, experience and norms for accreditation of arbitrators. As per the statement of objects annexed to the Bill: “In order to address the issue of corrupt practices in securing contracts or arbitral awards, a need was felt to ensure that all the stakeholder parties get an opportunity to seek unconditional stay of enforcement of arbitral awards, where the underlying arbitration agreement or contract or making of the arbitral award is induced by fraud or corruption.Also to promote India as a hub of international commercial arbitration by attracting eminent arbitrators to the country, it was also felt necessary to omit the Eighth Schedule of the Act. In the light of above circumstances, it has become necessary further to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.”

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