Salient features of the arbitration and conciliation act, 1996

The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 introduced some basic and qualitative changes that are reflected as salient features as outlined hereunder-

  • A Comprehensive Statute – meaning, the said Act is a self-contained code;
  • An Explanatory Code
  • Prescribes Qualifications for Arbitrator, Proceedings and so on
  • Abolished Umpire System
  • Curtailment of Court’s Powers - in the form of more autonomy to Arbitral Tribunals
  • Procedure for Conduct of Arbitration and Awards thereto;
  • Précised Powers of the Court
  • Enhanced powers of Arbitrators
  • Allowed new forms of Conciliation
  • International applicability
  • Provisions for Interim Reliefs and Orders
  • Finality of Orders - aka, no provisions of Appeal except via § 34 of the said Act, that contained specific grounds of appeal.

In Fuerst Day Lawson Ltd. v. Jindal Exports Ltd., AIR 2011 SC 2649, the Hon’ble Apex Court elaborated on the Salient Features of the said Act, and observed thus -

“No letters patent appeal with lie against an order, which is not appealable under § 50 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Order not appealable under § 50 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, is not open to further appeal even under Letters Patent. As the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which consolidates, amends and designs the law relating to arbitration to bring it, as much as possible, in harmony with UNCITRAL Model is a self-contained Code. Under § 6 of the Foreign Awards (Recognition and Enforcement) Act, 1961 (hereinafter “the 1961 Act”) the Court on being satisfied that the foreign award was enforceable under the Act, would first order the award to be filed and then proceed to pronounce judgment according to the award. The judgment would lead to a decree against which no appeal would lie except insofar as the decree was in excess of or not in accordance with the award. Section § 49 of the said Act now makes a radical change in that where the Court is satisfied that the foreign award is enforceable, the award itself would be deemed to be a decree of the Court. Thus both on micro basis by examining the scheme devised by §§ 49 and 50 of the said Act and the radical change that it brings about in the earlier provision of appeal under § 6 of the 1961 Act, and on a macro basis by taking into account the nature and character of the 1996 Act as a self-contained code and exhaustive Code in itself, Letters Patent Appeal against an order not appealable under § 50 of the 1996 Act stands excluded.”

Suggested Readings:

  1. Johari's: Commentary on Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996: Kamal Law House.
  2. Baddi, A. (2016, Dec 23). SALIENT FEATURES OF THE ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION ACT, 1996. Retrieved from

Author Bio

Anil comes with a Consulting Background in the area of Business, Technology and Project Management. This Article is a humble effort to the aforementioned domains by making a foray into Legal Research. The Author may be reached via anil [at] Satyagraha [dot] com


Anil Satyagraha 
on 27 December 2016
Published in Civil Law
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