Union of India v. Arbitral Award: Limitation and Condonaion of Delay

In a significant legal ruling by the Supreme Court of India, a judgment was delivered in the case between Union of India and an Arbitral Award. The court addressed issues pertaining to limitation periods and the condonation of delays in the context of arbitration proceedings. This blog highlights the key points of the judgment and its implications on future legal cases.


  • Arbitral Award dated 19.12.2006 was made by Justice K.N. Saikia
  • In SLP (C) No. 23155/2013, judgment and order dated 17.09.2018 held that no sufficient cause was made out for condoning the delay
  • Impugned judgment dated 24.06.2019 did not condone the delay
  • An appeal under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was filed in March, 2017, with a delay of 189 days from the 90-day period prescribed under Article 116 of the Limitation Act.
  • Section 34 petition was initially filed and rejected by the District Judge, Kamrup, Gauhati on 30.05.2016.

Also Read: Supreme Court Judgement: Determination of ‘Seat’ of Arbitration Proceedings


  • Mr. Parthiv K. Goswami argued that Section 37 does not exclude Section 5 of the Limitation Act.
  • Even if the 90-day period is over, a condonation application can be made under Section 5 of the Limitation Act.
  • The condonation application should be considered on its own merits regardless of the length of delay.

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  • Appellate proceeding is a continuation of the original proceeding.
  • Delay beyond 120 days in filing an appeal under Section 37 from an application being either dismissed or allowed under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 should not be allowed.
  • Purpose of arbitration proceedings should be decided with utmost despatch.
  • Court has allowed the appeal of the Union of India in a proceeding arising from an Arbitral Award in near identical facts and circumstances.
  • Delay found to be 142 days in filing the appeal and 103 days in refiling the appeal.
  • Division Bench noted no sufficient cause made out in the grounds of delay.
  • Section 34 application must be filed within maximum period of 120 days including the grace period of 30 days, which should be applicable to appeals under Section 37 from the same proceeding.
  • Impugned Division Bench judgment dated 10.04.2013 dismissed the appeal filed by the Union of India on the ground of delay.

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  • The appeal was dismissed due to a delay beyond 120 days which is not liable to be condoned.
  • The original appeal was filed with a delay period of 142 days.
  • Special Leave Petitions were not entertained as a result.


Case Number: C.A. No.-009244-009244 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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