Power of the Arbitrator to Determine Jurisdiction

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(1) In case any party claims that the arbitrator has no jurisdiction over the dispute which has been referred to him/her for settlement, or that the contract because of which the dispute has emerged is itself illegal or null and void, it may claim so before the arbitrator. The arbitrator shall take a decision on his/her jurisdiction or the validity or effectiveness of the contract before starting the proceeding on the matter referred to him/her,.
(2) Any party is not satisfied with the decision taken under Subsection (2) may file an appeal with the Appellate Court within 30 days from the date of decision, and the decision taken by that court on the matter shall be final.
(3) For the purpose of taking a decision on the validity or effectiveness of a contract pursuant to Sub-section (1), in case the contract contains provisions for the settlement of disputes through arbitration as its integral part, such provisions shall be taken as a separate agreement, and even if the arbitrator takes a decision holding the contract as null and void, such provisions shall not be held to be legally null and void for that reason alone.
(4) No claim may be made pursuant to Sub-section (1) after the expiry of the time limit for submitting objections prescribed pursuant to Sub-section (2) of section 14.
(5) No party shall be deemed to have been deprived of the opportunity to claim pursuant to Sub-section (1) simply for the reason of having appointed an arbitrator on its behalf, or participated in or agreed to the appointment of the arbitrator.
(6) The filling of a petition with the Appellate Court pursuant to Sub-section (2) shall not be deemed to have prejudiced the power of the arbitrator to continue the proceedings and pronounce the decision before the petition is finally disposed of by the court.

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