S 8 Arbitration Act – Remedy Against Order Allowing Reference To Arbitration?

Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act deals with power of a judicial authority to refer parties to arbitration where there is an arbitration agreement.

Againsst an order refusing an application under Section 8, a statutory remedy of appeal has been provided under Section 37 of the Act. However, no remedy has been provided in respect of an application allowing a Section 8 application.

So the question is what is the remedy available to a plaintiff against an order allowing an application filed by a defendant seeking reference to Arbitration?

In Arun Srivastava vs M/S Larsen & Toubro Ltd, the plaintiff filed a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution before the Delhi High Court. The High Court held that the petition before it would not be maintainable as all grounds in respect of existence and validity of the arbitration clause can be raised by the petitioner before the Arbitral Tribunal. “The intent of the Act is that existence and validity of the arbitration agreement can be raised by a party before the Arbitral Tribunal and therefore, finality has been given to the orders passed by the court allowing application under Section 8 of the Act.”, the court observed.

If you know about any other caselaws of other High Courts on this issue, please let us know.

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