The Supreme Court of India clarified that an arbitration agreement needs to be in writing though it need not be signed under the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”).
“The fact that the arbitration agreement shall be in writing is continued in the 1996 Act in Section 7(3) thereof. Section 7(4) only further adds that an arbitration agreement would be found in the circumstances mentioned in the three sub-clauses that make up Section 7(4). This does not mean that in all cases an arbitration agreement needs to be signed. The only prerequisite is that it be in writing, as has been pointed out in Section 7(3)”, the Court recently ordered.
Appellant argued that there was an arbitration clause in the bill of lading even though it was not signed by the parties.