Case: -Telecommunication Consultants India Ltd. v. Shivaa Trading; O.M.P. (COMM) 311/2022
The dispute arose from a contract for the construction of rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana between the Present Petitioner and Present Respondent. Following disputes, TCIL invoked arbitration, appointing an arbitrator under clause 19 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The crux of the petitioner’s argument lay in the arbitrator’s de jure ineligibility under Section 12(5) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (A&C Act), despite being appointed by TCIL. Drawing from the landmark case of Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. v. United Telecom Ltd., the court emphasized the need for express written waiver subsequent to the disputes for an arbitrator’s appointment to be valid.
In line with precedents and the statutory provisions, the court held that the arbitrator’s de jure ineligibility renders the entire arbitral process void ab-initio. Consequently, the Arbitral Award dated 17.12.2021 was set aside, affirming the foundational importance of jurisdiction in arbitration proceedings.
This judgment reaffirms the principle that jurisdictional defects can be challenged at any stage, underscoring the essence of fairness and due process in arbitration. It also underscores the significance of parties’ compliance with statutory provisions and the necessity of explicit waiver to validate arbitrator appointments.
The decision highlights the judiciary’s commitment to upholding the integrity of arbitration proceedings and ensuring adherence to legal standards. It serves as a precedent for parties engaging in arbitration, emphasizing the importance of procedural correctness and adherence to statutory provisions to avoid potential challenges to arbitral awards.

Author of this article:
Adv. Ravish Bhatt,
Partner, R&D Law Chambers,
Dual Qualified Lawyer Solicitor | International Tax Affiliate

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