India: Limitation Period for application to set aside arbitration award- Corporate Newsletter

July 3, 2018
Hon’ble Supreme Court SC determines
ISSUE No. 27
July 03, 2018

India: Limitation Period for application to set aside arbitration award

Supreme Court - India



The Supreme Court of India held in the case of AnilKumar Jinabhai Patel(D) v. Pravinchandra Jinabhai Patel on March 29,2018 that the limitation period for filing of the application for setting aside an arbitration award begins from the date of receiving of the signed copy of the award.


  • Anilkumar Jinabhai Patel (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Appellant’) and, Pravinchandra Jinabhai Patel (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Respondent’) are real brothers who together started the business of fertilizer manufacturing, chemical and real estate at Jalgaon.
  • As children of both the Appellants and Respondent grew up and in order to avoid any possible litigation, both the brothers and their family members decided to make division of the assets of the family and therefore, approached Latikaben and Bhikhalal Nathalal Patel who is the sister and brother-in-law of Pravinchandra Patel and Anilkumar Patel and the parties agreed to appoint them as arbitrators.
  • The arbitrators passed the arbitral award dated July 7, 1996, wherein certain properties were given to the Appellant and the Respondent and some other assets were kept undivided with equal rights and interest thereon of both groups. The copy of arbitral award was duly signed by both parties with a recital that they and their families would act as per the award. Then by an award dated November 3, 1996, the issues between the parties were finally decided.
  • However, the Appellant, Anilkumar and his family members filed an arbitration petition under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) before the District Judge, Jalgaon challenged the arbitral award dated July 7, 1996, contending that they became aware of the award only after they were served with the notice of execution petition filed by the Respondent, Pravinchandra Patel, along with the xerox of the award on August 11, 2005, therefore the period of limitation starts only from August 11, 2005, from the date of their receipt of copy of the award.
  • The District Judge vide order dated February 14, 2011 ruled in favor of the Appellant and allowed the application under Section 34 of the Act, as the period of limitation is to be computed from the time that the party concerned received the copy of the arbitral award. The Respondents challenged the decision of the District Court in the Hight Court of Bombay.
  • The High Court reversed the decision of District Judge, Jalgaon holding that the arbitration petition under Section 34 of the Act filed by the Appellants in the year 2005 was time barred and the matter reached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.


  • Whether Anilkumar Patel represented his family in the arbitration proceedings and whether Respondents are right in contending that receipt of copy of award by Anilkumar Patel was for himself and on behalf of his family members?
  • Whether the High Court was right in holding that the application under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 for setting aside the award was barred by limitation?

Decision of Court

The Supreme Court held that

  • Section 34 (3) of the Act provides that an application for setting aside an award shall not be entertained by the Court if it is made after three months have elapsed from the date on which the applicant had received the arbitral award. The proviso to Section 34 further provides that if the Court is satisfied that the Applicant was prevented by sufficient cause from making the application within the prescribed time, it may entertain the application within a further period of thirty days ‘but not thereafter’, as held in the case of State of Arunachal Pradesh v. Damini Construction Co. (2007) 10 SCC 742).
  • Further, in the case of Union of India v. Tecco Trichy Engineers and Contractors (2005) 4 SCC 239, the Supreme Court, in respect to the issue of limitation for filing application under Section 34 of the Act for setting aside the arbitral award, held that the period of limitation would commence only after a valid delivery of an arbitral award takes place under Section 31 (5) of the Act.

  • The Supreme Court held that the awards dated July 7, 1996 was signed by both the arbitrators and Anilkumar Patel (the applicant herein) received the copy of the award with the following endorsement, “For myself and on behalf of my family members”, the receipt of the award by Anilkumar Patel with the aforementioned endorsement could be construed as the receipt of the award by his family members. Having accepted the award through Anilkumar Patel, being the head of the family, the Appellants could not turn around and contend that they had not received the copy of the award. The Supreme Court also held that there was plenty of evidence which established beyond a doubt that the Appellant was well aware of the award dated July 7, 1996, and being the head of the family, he had signed a copy served on him which amounted to signed copy being served on the family members as well.
  • Hence, the Supreme Court held that the arbitral petition filed by the Appellants was barred by time, and that the limitation period for filing of the application for setting aside arbitration award begins from the date of receiving of the signed copy of the award. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals



India: TRAI’s Framework on Data Ownership, Privacy and Security on its way

Telecom Regulatory authority of India


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as the ‘TRAI’) is going to come out with the privacy, security and ownership of telecom data norms soon. While highlighting the importance of the upcoming regulation, the officials asserted the growing imminence of information technology and its value as a critical and indispensable asset for the economic and social development of the country. It is undoubtedly requisite to have a national data protection policy in today’s era, especially against the backdrop of revelations like the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

In furtherance of formulation of the regulation, TRAI had come out with a consultation paper on ‘privacy, security and ownership of data in the telecom sector’ and sought comments and counter comments from stakeholders in August 2017. The aim of this consultation paper was to identify the key issues pertaining to data protection in relation to the delivery of digital services. Data protection in this context is understood to mean the ability of individuals to understand and control the manner in which information pertaining to them can be accessed and used by others. Therefore, the emphasis of the regulation is on informational privacy, which forms a subset of the broader concept of ‘privacy’ that encompasses many other philosophical, psychological, sociological, economic and political perspectives.[1]

The paper discusses the privacy concerns that emanate from the activities of a variety of other stakeholders that process and control the personal data of users. This includes stakeholders like content and application service providers, device manufacturers, browsers, operating systems, etc. Apart from deliberating upon the importance of data protection and various stakeholders of the digital eco-system, it also discusses various data privacy laws adopted by other countries, to bring more perspective to the formulation of the aforementioned regulations. In addition to the e-Privacy directive, the paper discussed EU’s Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), which will be replaced by the GDPR with effect from May, 2018, and number of laws governing data protection in the United States.

Though the paper’s outline of a stringent framework of rules for telecoms to protect their users’ data from being misused by advertisers or malafide abuse has been welcomed as a positive change, it has also kindled some controversy with the top telcos, including Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio. These companies have urged for ‘equally and uniformally’ applicable regulation that brings under its ambit over-the-top (OTT) apps like WhatsApp and Viber in the same way that carriers were adhering to under present license norms. Therefore, though the existence of the upcoming data privacy regulation is essential for protecting the fundamental rights of the citizens and protecting its private sphere, but the implementation of such a policy is still imprecise as of now.

[1]Available at


India: Supreme Court imposes cost of INR 1 Lakh on internet giants like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and WhatsApp for online child pornography cases

Supreme Court imposes cost


Lashing out at the internet majors, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and instant messaging application WhatsApp, for disregarding Supreme Court’s order directing them to furnish details of the complaints they have received in India regarding online child pornography and their subsequent failure to disclose steps taken to curb the circulation of child pornography on their platforms, the Supreme Court has imposed a fine of INR 100,000 (USD 1491 approx.) on each company.

The genesis of this order lies in a complaint (PIL) sent on January 2015 to the former CJI, H.L Dattu by a Hyderabad based NGO, Prajwala stating that “videos of sexual violence were being circulated in abundance via internet and WhatsApp”, along with two rape videos on YouTube via a pen-drive. In 2017, the Apex Courtsuo moto took cognizance of the letter and asked the CBI to investigate the matter.

The NGO’s letter had mooted the idea of maintaining a national sex offenders’ register which should contain details of persons convicted for offences like eve-teasing, stalking, molestation and other sexual assaults. The NGO had also suggested that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) should have a tie-up with YouTube and WhatsApp to ensure that such offensive videos are not uploaded, and the culprits punished. A committee under the chairmanship of Ajith Kumar was appointed to assist and advice the Court regarding the solutions to curb the problem of sexual offences and online child pornography.

The committee submitted a report stating 11 proposals which were uniformly agreed upon by the members. The Court then required the parties i.e. internet giants and the Government to implement these 11 proposals. The apex court asked them to provide such details they received in 2016 and till August 3, 2017 about the uploading of objectionable contents on child pornography, rape and gang rape, and also about the action taken by them on such complaints. A bench comprising Justices Madan B. Lokur and U. U. Lalit directed the Ministry of Home Affiars (MHA) to apprise it about the number of prosecution under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2012, during this period.

Justice Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit, by order dated April 16, 2018 ordered all social networks to inform the response of the actions taken by them in the next hearing i.e. May 18, 2018. But the major websites did not file any response.

MHA submitted that it will require about 2 more months to launch the final version of an online platform for the reporting of cybercrime as the ministry is coordinating with the States and the Union Territories in this regard. The Court opined that the ministry had taken “more than sufficient time” to complete the work and still a lot of work was remaining. However, the bench has granted further time to HMA till June 30, 2018, to complete the remaining work.

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