The arbitration and conciliation Act,1996 defines Arbitral tribunal means a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrator . This Act gives ample of powers and duties to arbitral tribunal . chapter 4 of this act deals with the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunal , chapter 5 deals with conduct of arbitral proceedings and chapter 6 provides for making of arbitral award and termination of proceedings.
DUTIES OF ARBITRATOR /ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL-
a) Duty to give equal treatment to the parties S-18
This section is based on principle ” justice should not only be done but should appear to have been done The principle of natural justice now embodied n this section . Though the arbitral tribunal is not bound by strict rule of procedure or strict rules of evidence , they are not bound by principle of natural justice . The arbitral tribunal must be impartial . it should not be interested in either of the parties or in the subject matter either directly or indirectly .
b) Duty to sign the Award (S-3)-
The arbitral award shall be made in writing and it shall be signed by the members of arbitral tribunal. In a arbitral proceeding where there are more than one arbitrator , the signatures of majority of all the members of the arbitral tribunal shall be sufficient for any omitted signature . After tribunal award is made , a signed copy shall be delivered to each party .
c) Duty to act beyond his jurisdiction (S-16) –
Though arbitral tribunal may make rule on its own justice yet it cannot go beyond its own jurisdiction .The party aggrieved by such award may make an application for setting aside such an arbitral award u/s.34 when-
(A) The party was under some incapacity;
(B) The arbitration agreement entered into between the parties is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereon , under the law of the time being in force , or
(C) The party making an application was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings or was otherwise unable to present his case , or
(D) The arbitral award deals with a dispute not contemplated by or falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration , or it contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration, or
(E) The composition of arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties.
d) Duty not to commit fraud or any misconduct (S.15)-
The mandate of arbitrator be terminated and he will be substituted when he commits any fraud or misconduct.
e) Duty to act judicially and follow the rules of justice , equity and good conscience –
When any dispute or reference is made to arbitrator or arbitral tribunal then it has to act judicially .Though arbitral tribunal is not bound by strict rules of procedure and evidence . It has to follow principle of natural justice means it is the duty of arbitral tribunal to apply principle of justice , equity and good conscience and to settle the dispute .
f) Duty to decide the dispute according to arbitration agreement and law –
it is duty of arbitral tribunal to decide the dispute in accordance with the provision of law which is prevailing for the time being in force in India . The arbitrator has to act in judicial manner without any bias.
In short It is a duty of arbitral tribunal to give equal treatment to the parties to the disputes under reference . It embodies the principle that justice should not only be done but should appear to have been done . The arbitral tribunal can not act beyond his jurisdiction . it is a duty of a arbitral tribunal that arbitral award shall be made in writing and it shall be signed by the members of arbitral tribunal to act judicially and follow the rules of justice , equity and good conscience and to decide the dispute according to arbitration agreement and law .