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Jurisdictional Objection Under Sec. 16 of Arbitration And Conciliation Act Has To Be Raised At Inception With Sense Of Alacrity: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court observed that a jurisdictional objection under sec. 16 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act by its very nature would be one which has to be raised at inception, at the earliest stage. The Court also observed that under the scheme of the Act, such an objection has to be raised with a “sense of alacrity” which must be decided by the Arbitral Tribunal with a “sense of urgency”. A single judge bench comprising of Justice Pratibha M Singh observed thus: “A jurisdictional objection by its very nature would be one which has to be raised at the inception itself. The statute contemplates that the party raising the objection has to raise it with alacrity and hence by an overall reading of Section 16 and especially Section 16(5) of the Act, there is no doubt that the Tribunal also ought to decide the objection with a sense of urgency. Such dispensation would be favoured especially in order to ensure that parties to whom the arbitral proceedings may not even be applicable are not entangled to long drawn arbitral proceedings with substantial costs being incurred.”

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