Rationale & Relevance
For the first issue, the Court stated that resolution of the issue turns to interpretation of Section 35(3) of the Arbitration Act and that the time began running from 1st July, 2020 when the Arbitrator notified the parties that the Award was ready for collection. Hence, the Applicant ought to have filed the application to set aside by 30th September, 2020. This decision was also informed by a number of authorities where it was held that actual receipt of the signed copy of the award by the party is not necessary but when the Arbitral Tribunal notifies the parties that a signed copy of the award is ready for collection, then, the date of such notice is deemed to be the date of delivery and receipt of the award.
For the second issue, the Court stated that public policy as a ground for setting aside an arbitral award must be narrow in scope. Further, it cannot be vague and generalized. The Court was of the opinion that a party seeking to challenge an award on the ground of public policy must identify the public policy which the award allegedly breaches and must show which part of the award conflicts with the public policy. The claim was pleaded and the arbitrator considered the evidence before him in line with his jurisdiction. Whether the arbitrator got it right or wrong is not a ground for intervention less so on the basis of public policy.
For the third issue, the Court stated that since the Applicant’s application seeking to set aside the award had already been dismissed, there was no reason to reject the application for recognition and enforcement of the award