Case Note: Section 142A of Negotiable Instruments Act applies Retrospectively

Bridgestone India Private Limited v. Inderpal Singh[1]

Harish Adwant, IV B.S.L. LL.B.

Section 4 of the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2015 (Ordinance) inserts Section 142A in the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (the Act) which provides for retrospective application of Section 142. Continue reading

Retrospectively Yours, Law Minister: Section 29A of the amended Arbitration Act Shall Apply Prospectively

Ritvik M. Kulkarni

Image source: http://www.stuts.com

Immediately after the Arbitration Ordinance was promulgated on October 23, 2015, the legal fraternity stood divided on whether provisions of the Act, Section 29A in particular, would apply retroactively, retrospectively or prospectively. Section 29A requires inter alia that the arbitration be concluded within a period of 12 months; extendable by a maximum 6 months by mutual consent of the parties. The question of its applicability to pending / on-going arbitrations was first raised before the Madras High Court in Delphi TVS Diesel Systems Ltd. v. Union of India[1], wherein the Court directed the Central Government to clarify this anomaly forthwith. The Court correctly noted that,

There would be huge litigations unnecessarily generated in respect of the pending arbitrations and the provision being procedural in nature fixing the time limit, it can be clarified that it would be either not applicable to the pending arbitrations or if it is applicable to the pending arbitrations, the time period specified therein would commence from the date of the Ordinance, to obviate such unnecessary litigations”.

The Lok Sabha on December 17, 2015 passed the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in all its revolutionary glory. One of the most important developments in this Act is that the Law Minister has finally clarified and settled the waters over the temporal applicability of the Act. After due deliberation in Parliament, the Union Law Minister Dr. Sadananda Gowda added the following clause to the amending act:

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