Emergency Arbitration in India : A Bellwether for the Grant of Interim Reliefs

Aakanksha Luhach & Varad S. Kolhe

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Although emergency arbitration has emerged as a turning tide for the grant of urgent interim reliefs globally, it has still not been able to develop a strong ground in many jurisdictions, including India. Many arbitral institutions have started providing for rules governing emergency arbitrations wherein the parties have an opportunity to seek interim relief prior to the constitution of the arbitral tribunal. This is done keeping in mind the needs of parties that require urgent interim relief, the issuance of which can be an important factor in the outcome of the arbitral proceedings. However, it is imperative to note that there still exists a large number of arbitral institutions which do not have any provisions for emergency arbitration, therefore compelling parties to seek such measures from the national courts. This article strives to demonstrate how emergency arbitration is beneficial for parties by making an unbiased comparison of the grant of urgent relief by an emergency arbitrator and by national courts on various practical grounds. The research article dwells deep into the practical aspect of emergency arbitration by providing a comparative analysis of the emergency arbitration rules of various Indian and International arbitration institutions. An attempt is made to explain and examine the various legal obstacles, such as enforceability and recognition of the relief granted, surrounding emergency arbitration in India and thereafter provide solutions for the same.