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Courts U/S 34, Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 Can Remand Matter to the Arbitrator For Fresh Decision If Both Parties Consented: Supreme Court

[15 February 2022] The Supreme Court observed that the principle that a court while deciding a petition under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act has no jurisdiction to remand the matter to the Arbitrator for a fresh decision is applicable only when the said petition is decided on merits.
This principle is inapplicable when both the parties agreed to set aside the award and to remit the matter to the Arbitrator for fresh reasoned Award, the bench comprising Justice MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed. The court added that even in a case where the award is set aside on whatever the grounds, the parties can still agree for the fresh arbitration may be mad by the same arbitrator.
A party challenged an Arbitration award before the single bench of the Bombay High Court under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The court, by consent, set aside the award and remanded the matter to the Sole Arbitrator to pass a fresh reasoned award. The court later dismissed the application seeking modification of the said order in which the party contended that the consent had not been accorded for the matter being sent to the same Sole Arbitrator. Later, the single bench dismissed the review petition in which the petitioner raised the same contention. The Division bench upheld these orders.

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