Section 36 of the (Arbitration) Act says the arbitration award be set aside if it is against public policy, said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha
“We only want that there should be fair arbitration in India. Our only intention is that people should not loot taxpayers’ money through arbitration awards,” Prasad said
Parliament on Wednesday approved a Bill to amend the arbitration law that would ensure all stakeholders get a chance to seek an unconditional stay on enforcement of arbitral awards where an agreement is “induced by fraud or corruption”.
The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was passed by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on February 12.
It will replace an Ordinance issued on November 4, 2020.
Replying to a discussion on the Bill in the Upper House, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the changes in the Bill would avoid payment of tax payers’ money as an award in cases where the agreement or contract is “induced by fraud or corruption”.
He said, “Section 36 of the Act provides that the arbitration award would be set aside if it is against the public policy. The contracts or agreements induced with corruptions and frauds would be considered ‘against public policy’.”
“There was a provision under Sector 36 that there would not be direct stay as somebody has to challenge that to get the stay (on the award). Today we are saying that if an award is challenged and if prima facie the court finds that it is induced with fraud or corruption then the court would stay the award.”
The minister said, “I don’t understand why they get agitated by the mention of corruption. Should such (arbitration) awards be given in India which are induced with corruption and where CBI inquiry is on? Such people by collusive agreement get the award through taxpayers’ money.”
“We only want that there should be fair arbitration in India. Our only intention is that people should not loot taxpayers’ money through arbitration awards.”
Immediately after the passage of the Bill, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the Rajya Sabha till Monday as Opposition parties continued raising slogans demanding discussion on the three Central farm laws.