Allahabad HC extends 12 months period for disposal of Arbitral proceedings; allows the release of prisoners on personal bonds due to non-availability of sureties

In Residence Case


Petitioner: In re

Respondent: State of U.P.

Counsel for Petitioner: Suo Moto Hon’ble Govind Mathur, Chief Justice Hon’ble Siddhartha Varma, J.

On Monday due to lockdown, the High court of Allahabad under section 29A[1] extended the 12 months period for the Arbitral Tribunal to pass the final award except in the case of international Commercial Arbitration.

The bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice Govind Mathur and Chief Justice Hon’ble Siddhartha Varma in the case which was registered suo moto said that to meet the contingencies occurred due to COVID-19 we issued an order stating that according to section 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act ‘1996 in the matter other than International Commercial Arbitration the award will be given within the period of 12 months from the date of completion of pleading according to Subclause (4)[2] of section 23, because of the unavoidable circumstance.

It is also taken into consideration that before the lockdown different states of Uttar Pradesh and High court have granted the bail to the prisoners but they are still not released because of non-availability of sureties. Due to lockdown, it is difficult to arrange the sureties while invoking powers under Article 226[3] and 227[4] of the Constitution of India. Thus, the Judges passed an order stating that the prisoners whose bail application is granted on or after 25th March 2020 but is not released, he can be released on personal bond instead of sureties within a period of one month.


[1] Section 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 the award in the mater other than international commercial arbitration is required to be made within a period of twelve months from the date of completion of pleadings under sub-section (4) of Section 23. The requirement of Section 29A of the Act is mandatory by nature. However, looking to the extraordinary circumstances, it is desirable to extend the period aforesaid.
[2] Section 23.   Statements of claim and defence. (4) The statement of claim and defence under this section shall be completed within a period of six months from the date the arbitrator or all the arbitrators, as the case may be, received notice, in writing of their appointment.
[3] 226. Power of High Courts to issue certain writs
(1) Notwithstanding anything in Article 32 every High Court shall have powers, throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction, to issue to any person or authority, including in appropriate cases, any Government, within those territories directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibitions, quo warranto and certiorari, or any of them, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III and for any other purpose
(2) The power conferred by clause ( 1 ) to issue directions, orders or writs to any Government, authority or person may also be exercised by any High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to the territories within which the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises for the exercise of such power, notwithstanding that the seat of such Government or authority or the residence of such person is not within those territories
(3) Where any party against whom an interim order, whether by way of injunction or stay or in any other manner, is made on, or in any proceedings relating to, a petition under clause ( 1 ), without
(a) furnishing to such party copies of such petition and all documents in support of the plea for such interim order; and
(b) giving such party an opportunity of being heard, makes an application to the High Court for the vacation of such order and furnishes a copy of such application to the party in whose favour such order has been made or the counsel of such party, the High Court shall dispose of the application within a period of two weeks from the date on which it is received or from the date on which the copy of such application is so furnished, whichever is later, or where the High Court is closed on the last day of that period, before the expiry of the next day afterwards on which the High Court is open; and if the application is not so disposed of, the interim order shall, on the expiry of that period, or, as the case may be, the expiry of the aid next day, stand vacated
(4) The power conferred on a High Court by this article shall not be in derogation of the power conferred on the Supreme court by clause ( 2 ) of Article 32
[4] 227. Power of superintendence over all courts by the High Court
(1) Every High Court shall have superintendence over all courts and tribunals throughout the territories interrelation to which it exercises jurisdiction
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, the High Court may
(a) call for returns from such courts;
(b) make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such courts; and
(c) prescribe forms in which books, entries and accounts shall be kept by the officers of any such courts
(3) The High Court may also settle tables of fees to be allowed to the sheriff and all clerks and officers of such courts and to attorneys, advocates and pleaders practising therein: Provided that any rules made, forms prescribed or tables settled under clause ( 2 ) or clause ( 3 ) shall not be inconsistent with the provision of any law for the time being in force, and shall require the previous approval of the Governor
(4) Nothing in this article shall be deemed to confer on a High Court powers of superintendence over any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces