Judicial Approach in Applying the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 to Investment Disputes.

Harsh Singh & Shubhangi Agarwal

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The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is primarily based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. However, the problem which arises is that commercial arbitration is not the only kind of arbitration that Indian Parties indulge in. India has entered into several International Investment Agreements (IIAs), in the form of multi-lateral or bilateral investment treaties, with different countries, which makes it essential for India to have a proper legal framework so that it can properly honour its treaty obligations. Policymakers were indifferent to the difference between commercial and investment arbitration because of which there is a complete lacuna in the existing statute to deal with investment disputes. There are stages when the national Courts of a country have an important role to play in assisting arbitrations but in the absence of specific laws to deal with the subject matter, there will always be inconsistency in giving decisions. This paper seeks to identify the existing challenges to investment arbitration in India by closely reviewing in detail the judicial stand pertaining to the same.