The Bombay High Court recently ruled that an appeal against an order in an application under section 8 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) in a civil suit is not maintainable under clause 15 of the Letters Patent.
A Large Bench of the Court observed that an application under Section 8 of the Act is an application under Part I of the Act and hence the bar under Section 37 of the Act would apply to an appeal from an order passed under Section 8.
The Court said, “Even otherwise an application pertaining to the reliefs claimed in section 8 is clearly under section 8 and thereby is one under the provisions of the Act and in particular Part-I thereof which relates to domestic arbitrations.”
The Court further said that the Act entitles the Court to refer the parties to arbitration where the action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement. It follows, therefore, even by elimination that the power of the Court to refer the parties to arbitration is contained in section 8 alone. Once section 8 (1) is held to be the source of power to pass such an order, it must follow that the application in which such an order is passed is under section 8 in general and under sub-section (1) thereof in particular.