M/s. Amazon.Com Nv Investment Holdings Llc Vs Future Retail Limited & Ors.

Case Number: Civil Appeal No. 4492-4493 OF 2021 

Judges Name: Hon’ble Judges R.F. Nariman J, B.R. Gavai J . 

Order dated: 06.08.2021

“An Award of an Emergency arbitrator is enforceable under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.”


Facts of the Case:

  • The The Appellant initiated Arbitration proceedings against the Respondents and filed an application seeking emergency interim reliefs under Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC Rules”). The seat of the Arbitral proceedings was at New Delhi, and SIAC Rules applied. An Emergency Arbitrator was appointed who passed an “interim award” under the SIAC Rules. 
  • The Appellant initiated proceedings under Section 17(2) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”) before the High Court of Delhi to enforce such interim award. Delhi High Court passed a status-quo order restraining the Respondents from going ahead with the impugned transaction. The Respondents challenged such order before the Division Bench which by stayed the order passed by the Single Judge. The Appellant filed a special leave petition against the stay order passed by the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court.

Supreme Court held/observed:

  • An Emergency Arbitrator’s “award”, i.e., order, would undoubtedly be an order which furthers the objectives to decongest the court system and to give the parties urgent interim relief in cases which deserve such relief. 
  • An Emergency Arbitrator’s order, is exactly like an order of an arbitral tribunal once properly constituted, in that parties have to be heard and reasons are to be given, would fall within the institutional rules to which the parties have agreed, and would consequently be covered by Section 17(1), when read with the other provisions of the Act.
  • Once the Emergency Arbitrator enters upon the reference, he is given all the powers of an arbitral tribunal under Rule 7 and is to decide completely independently of any other administrative authority under the SIAC Rules.
  • Full party autonomy is given by the Arbitration Act to have a dispute decided in accordance with institutional rules which can include Emergency Arbitrators delivering interim orders, described as “awards”. Such orders are an important step in aid of decongesting the civil courts and affording expeditious interim relief to the parties.
  • The legislature made no amendment to the granting or refusing to grant any measure under Section 9 to bring it in line with Order XLIII, Rule 1(r), under Section 37(1)(b) and the enforcement proceedings are not covered by the appeal provision. 
  • The Hon’ble Supreme Court set aside the impugned judgment of the Division Bench disposed the appeals. 

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