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Dispute Resolution in Public Procurement Contracts:

An Analysis of the Indian Practice and an Agenda for Effective Arbitration

Sai Ramani Garimella, Wasiq Abass Dar

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/epppl/2024/2/7

Keywords: dispute resolution, India, UNCITRAL Model Law, arbitration


Governance is unarguably the largest human enterprise. It involves interactions with diverse stakeholders, including private contractors, for procurements and delivery of public goods and services to the population through the invitation of tenders and bids for auction. Procurement can often lead to disputes given the diverse purposes of such contracts, and the nature of the contracting entities. Disputes arise in three stages: notification, allotment and performance. Private contractors are driven by profit, while the State follows its sovereign and public law obligations. In such high-stakes engagements, effective and efficient dispute resolution is not just desirable but necessary. This paper analyses the legal regime governing public procurement contracts in India, with special emphasis on the relevant dispute resolution mechanisms available. It outlines the existing international law regime on public procurement to suggest arbitration as an effective dispute resolution mechanism. The paper analyses the WTO Model, the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement, and the EU Law, to reconcile the issues particular to the Indian context, especially those related to dispute resolution.
Keywords: dispute resolution; India; UNCITRAL Model Law; arbitration

Sai Ramani Garimella, Associate Professor, Faculty of Legal Studies, South Asian University, New Delhi, India <mailto:ramani@sau.ac.in>; Wasiq Abass Dar, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India <mailto:wadar@jgu.edu.in>.

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