Case Comment: The Ratio Which Was Plain in Sight – Determining Indus Mobile’s True Import, by Utkarsh Srivastava

In the post-BALCO era, numerous judgments dealing with domestic arbitrations have been rendered by the various High  Courts and the Supreme Court in India, but none of them has had the kind of far-reaching effects as the judgment in Indus Mobile has. On the first view, Indus Mobile appears to fall foul of the much-debated Paragraph 96 of BALCO, which grants supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitral proceedings to the court at the designated ‘seat’, but the position of law is not that straightforward. The present note looks at how the High Courts of various states across India have misunderstood Indus Mobile and finally attempts to arrive at the correct understanding of the judgment, by referring to the recent but rare High Court decisions which buck the trend and present a more acceptable understanding of Indus Mobile. The focus would also be on highlighting the reasons for the confusion which has arisen out of the Indus Mobile judgment, and the role of the Supreme Court in bringing about much-needed clarity on the subject.