Appeal in Court against Appealable Orders
Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 refers to appealable orders wherein (1) An appeal shall lie from the following orders (and from no others) to the Court authorised by law to hear appeals from original decrees of the Court passing the order, namely:-- [(a) refusing to refer the parties to arbitration under section 8; (b) granting or refusing to grant any measure under section 9; (c) setting aside or refusing to set aside an arbitral award under section 34.] (2) An appeal shall also lie to a Court from an order granting of the arbitral tribunal. (a) accepting the plea referred in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) of section 16; or (b) granting or refusing to grant an interim measure under section 17.
Only in exceptional circumstances, a court can be approached under the Act. The aggrieved party can approach the court only after an arbitral award is made or in case of an order passed under Section 17 of the Act, after the order is passed, and even a third party, who is directly or indirectly affected by interim measures granted by the arbitral tribunal, will have a remedy of an appeal under Section 37 of the Act. Appeal to the courts is now permissible only on certain restricted grounds.
An appeal lies from the following orders, and from no others, to the court authorized by law to hear appeals from original decrees of the court passing the order:
i. granting or refusing to grant any measure under Section 9;
ii. setting aside or refusing to set aside an Arbitral Award under Section 34
However, a three judge Bench of the Supreme Court has recently held, in Centrotrade Minerals & Metal v. Hindustan Copper, that the parties may provide for an appeal to lie from the award to an appellate arbitral tribunal. Such a clause was held not to be contrary to the laws of the country and, thus, enforceable. It appears that the scope of appeal in such cases is far wider than an appeal to a court.
Applicability of Amendment Act
The Amendment Act has widened the ambit of appeal by including the order refusing to refer the parties to arbitration under Section 8 of the Act.
Appeal shall also lie to a court from an order of the Arbitral Tribunal:
i. accepting the plea referred to in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) of Section 16; or
ii. granting or refusing to grant an interim measure under Section 17.
Moreover, no second appeal shall lie from an order passed in appeal under this Section but nothing in Section 37 shall affect or take away any right to appeal to the Supreme Court.