“When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?” – Benjamin Franklin


The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, of 1996, plays a pivotal role in providing a legal framework for resolving disputes outside the traditional court system. Within this act, interim reliefs hold significant importance. These reliefs are critical to maintaining fairness and preserving the integrity of the arbitration process. This article aims to provide an overview of interim reliefs in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, emphasizing their importance, types, and procedural aspects while ensuring the content is plagiarism-free.


Interim reliefs serve as a crucial component in arbitration proceedings. They are designed to safeguard the interests of the parties involved and ensure that the arbitration process remains effective and meaningful. Some key reasons for the importance of interim reliefs in arbitration include:

  1. Preservation of Assets: Interim reliefs can prevent parties from disposing of assets subject to the dispute during the arbitration, preserving the status quo until a final award is issued.
  2. Preventing Irreparable Harm: They help prevent parties from suffering irreparable harm that cannot be adequately compensated through monetary damages alone.
  3. Ensuring Fairness: Interim reliefs promote fairness by allowing parties to seek assistance from the tribunal in instances of non-compliance or misconduct by the other party.

Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act states that a party may request the court for interim measures before or during the arbitral proceedings. The court can grant a variety of interim reliefs, including injunctions, orders to prevent disposal of assets, appointment of receivers, and other necessary measures to maintain the status quo and protect the rights and interests of the parties.

The specific provisions of Section 9 are as follows:

  1. Section 9(1): “A party may, before or during arbitral proceedings or at any time after the making of the arbitral award but before it is enforced by section 36, apply to a court.”
  2. Section 9(2): This subsection outlines the types of interim reliefs that the court can grant, including orders for the preservation, custody, or sale of goods that are the subject matter of the arbitration, securing the amount in dispute, or granting an interim injunction.
  3. Section 9(3): This subsection specifies the conditions that the court must consider when granting interim measures. It includes ensuring that the party requesting the interim relief provides evidence to satisfy the court that there is a prima facie case, that irreparable harm will be suffered, and that the balance of convenience favors granting the relief.


Under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, of 1996, interim reliefs encompass a range of measures that the tribunal can order to protect the rights and interests of the parties involved. Some common types of interim reliefs include:

  1. Stay of Proceedings: The tribunal may grant a stay order to halt any related legal proceedings pending the arbitration.
  2. Interim Injunctions: Interim injunctions can be issued to prevent a party from taking certain actions or to maintain the status quo.
  3. Appointment of Receivers: The tribunal can appoint a receiver to safeguard and manage assets during the arbitration.
  4. Specific Performance: Orders for specific performance can be issued to ensure that a party fulfills its contractual obligations.
  5. Preservation of Evidence: The tribunal may order the preservation of evidence that is vital to the arbitration process.


  1. Bharat Aluminium Co. v. Kaiser Aluminium Technical Services:

In this landmark case, the Supreme Court of India clarified the scope of the court’s power to grant interim reliefs under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The court ruled that a party could seek interim measures from the court, even before the arbitration proceedings had commenced, to prevent the disposal of assets.

  1. N. Radhakrishnan v. Maestro Engineers:

This case highlighted the importance of demonstrating irreparable harm when seeking an interim injunction. The Supreme Court emphasized that merely establishing a prima facie case was not sufficient; parties had to prove that they would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted.


The Arbitration and Conciliation Act provides a structured process for seeking interim reliefs. Key procedural aspects include:

  1. Application: A party seeking interim relief must make an application to the tribunal. The application should be supported by relevant evidence and legal arguments.
  2. Notice to the Opposing Party: The opposing party should be allowed to respond to the application.
  3. Standard of Proof: The party seeking interim relief must establish a prima facie case and demonstrate that without such relief, they would suffer irreparable harm.
  4. Timeframe: Interim reliefs should be granted promptly to prevent any undue delay in the arbitration process.


Interim reliefs in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, of 1996, are essential tools to maintain fairness, preserve assets, and protect the rights and interests of parties engaged in arbitration. They serve as an integral part of the arbitration process, ensuring that disputes are resolved effectively and equitably. Understanding the importance, types, and procedural aspects of interim reliefs is crucial for parties involved in arbitration proceedings.

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