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ARBITRATION WORLD Arbitration News From Around the World Sean Kelsey (London) ASIA India One of the most high-profile arbitration-related cases in recent Indian judicial history has come to a close. By a judgment dated 28 January 2016 in the Bharat Aluminium Co v Kaiser Aluminium Technical Service (or “BALCO”) dispute, the Supreme Court of India (the “Supreme Court”) has held that, by prescribing that the law applicable to the relevant arbitration agreement was English law, the parties had agreed to exclude Part I of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (the “Act”) and hence such jurisdiction as that part of the Act confers on the Indian courts with respect to the decisions of arbitral tribunals. The dispute is best known for the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court dated 6 September 2012 in which it was held that, in relation to arbitration agreements executed after that date, Part I of the Act would not apply to international commercial arbitrations seated outside India (see Indian Arbitration—Recent Trends, Arbitration World, September 2012.) That decision meant that the substance of the dispute in BALCO would fall to be decided in accordance with prior caselaw, including the 2002 Bhatia International decision. In Bhatia International, the Supreme Court had held that Part I of the Act (“Part I”) applies to international commercial arbitration held outside India, unless expressly excluded. Indian caselaw entered into an unwelcome state of uncertainty after the Bhatia International decision, with some judgments applying that decision, while in others certain Indian courts established the principle of implied exclusion of Part I. In the final chapter of the BALCO saga, the Supreme Court has now held that the law applicable to the relevant arbitration agreement was English law, and that therefore Part I of the Act had been impliedly excluded. 5