Under the 1940 Act an interim relief could be sought for after commencement of the Arbitration reference. This situation has been basically altered and now as provided in section 9 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Interim relief may be sought by a party before or during arbitral proceeding or anytime after the making of the award.
The nature of the Interim Relief that may be asked for are enumerated as hereunder.
For the appointment of a guardian for a minor or a person of unsound mind for the purposes of Arbitral proceedings; or
For an Interim measure of protection in respect of any of the following matters, namely:-
the preservation, interim custody or sale of any goods which are the subject matter of the arbitration agreement ;
Securing the amount in dispute in the Arbitration;
The detention, preservation or inspection of any property or thing which is the subject-matter of the dispute in arbitration, or as to which any question may arise therein and authorising for any of the aforesaid purposes any person to enter upon any land or building in the possession of any party, or authorising any samples to be taken or any observation to be made, or experiment to be tried, which may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of obtaining full information or evidence;
interim injunction or the appointment of a receiver;
such other interim measure of protection as may appear to the court to be just and convenient.
This interim relief has to be asked from the court, which has the same power for making interim orders as it has for the purpose of and in relation to any proceedings before it. The “court” means the principal civil court of original Jurisdiction in a district and includes the High Court in exercise of its ordinary original civil Jurisdiction, having Jurisdiction to decide the questions forming the subject matter of the Arbitration if the same had been the subject matter of a suit, but does not include any civil court of a grade inferior to such principal civil court of or any court of small causes.
Under section 17 of the present Act the arbitral tribunal may also at the request of the party, order a party to take any interim measure of protection as the arbitral tribunal may consider necessary in respect of the subject matter of the dispute. The Arbitral tribunal may also require a party to provide appropriate security in connection with a measure ordered under sub-section 1 of Section 17 of the present Act. This is a change in Law as under the old Act “ that is the 1940 Act “ the arbitrator could make an interim award but there was no provision equivalent to Section 17 of the present Act.