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-Tejas Chhura

The full chapter may be found by clicking on the PDF link to the left.

One of the foundation principles of arbitration law is the principle of consent.1 Unlike other forms of adjudication such as courts, which draw their jurisdiction from their respective statutes, an arbitration tribunal attains its competency through the consent of the parties before it. However, this principle of consent is not absolute, and in order to accommodate for the complex social realities, there has been the development of both consensual and non-consensual theories to involve non-signatories in the arbitration proceedings.2 While the validity of these theories has faced stern opposition in some jurisdictions,3 a doctrine that India has incorporated into its jurisprudence is the “Group of Companies Doctrine” through the case of Chloro Controls India (P) Ltd v. Severn Trent Water Purification (“Chloro Control”).4 However, in recent times, there has been severe criticism against the doctrine with the Supreme Court of India even referring the matter to a larger bench.5 In light of the exponential growth of popularity and usage of arbitration in India over the past decade and the number of cases coming up before arbitration tribunals owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of the impleading of non-signatories becomes of utmost relevance.

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