Two Indian Parties Can Choose a Foreign Seat: Party Autonomy Prevails in India
Published 23 June 2021
(Minor revisions 28/06/2021) The right of two Indian parties to arbitrate at a foreign seat has been subject to a longstanding conflicted jurisprudence in India. In its recent decision in PASL Wind Solutions Pvt. Ltd. v GE Power Conversion India Pvt. Ltd, the Supreme Court of India finally settled this issue by unequivocally holding that two Indian parties may choose a foreign seat of arbitration and the award made at such arbitration would be a foreign award in an “international commercial arbitration,” enforceable under Part II of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”). In doing so, the judgement has clarified that the phrases “international commercial arbitration” and “foreign award,” in Part II of the Act, are seat oriented, and therefore the nationality of parties is not relevant in their application. The judgement also held that two Indian parties arbitrating at a foreign seat can approach Indian courts for interim measures and reliefs. This article explores the findings of this judgement in detail, highlighting its relevance and impact on the Indian arbitration landscape.