Delay in appeals filed under Section 37 of Arbitration Act to be condoned as exception and not rule: Supreme Court overrules NV International

20th Mar,2021


Delay in appeals filed under Section 37 of Arbitration Act to be condoned as exception and not rule: Supreme Court overrules NV International

The Supreme Court reversed its 2019 decision in the case M/s NV International vs State of Assam, which had specifically held that a delay of more than 120 days in filing appeals under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 could not be tolerated. The Supreme Court has now ruled that filing appeals under Section 37 can be postponed for up to 90, 60, or 30 days, depending on the forum. The Supreme Court has now ruled that filing appeals under Section 37 after 90, 60, or 30 days, depending on the forum, may be excused. However, the Court added a stipulation that such delays should be the exception rather than the rule, given the Arbitration Act's goal of expeditious claim resolution.
Orders issued under Sections 9, 34, 16, and 17 of the Arbitration Act may be appealed under Section 37 of the Act. Unlike Section 34, Section 37 does not specify a time limit for filing an appeal. However, in the case of Government of Maharashtra vs Borse Brothers Engineers and Contractors Pvt Ltd and related cases, a three-judge bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai, and Hrishikesh Roy has now overruled NV International's judgement.