Rules & Procedures (2021)

The Rules represent a balance between addressing the future of dispute resolution online and creating unimpeachable legal processes that will hold up under the scrutiny of any review. Sama’s Rules have been created with the assistance of many legal and technology experts:

Table of Contents

Part I: General Rules. 4

1.      Short Title, Extent and Application. 4

2.      Definitions and Interpretations. 4

Part II - Arbitration Rules. 9

3.      Commencement of Arbitration. 9

4.      Appointment of Case Manager and Pre-Arbitration Call 12

5.      Constitution of Arbitral Tribunal 12

6.      Administrative Assistance under Ad-Hoc Arbitration. 13

7.      Declaration by Appointed Arbitrator. 13

8.      Challenge of Arbitrators. 13

9.      Fast Track Arbitration. 15

10.         Date of Commencement of Arbitral Proceedings. 15

11.         Interim Relief. 16

12.         Emergency Arbitration. 16

13.         Statement of Claim.. 17

14.         Statement of Defense and Counter-Claim.. 18

15.         Amendments to Pleadings. 18

16.         Further Pleadings. 19

17.         Presentation of Witness. 19

18.         Expert appointed by Arbitral Tribunal 19

19.         Evidence. 20

20.         Hearing. 20

21.         Adjournment. 21

22.         Default. 22

23.         Timelines for grant of Award. 22

24.         Making and contents of Arbitral Award. 23

25.      Modification of Arbitral Award. 24

26.         Termination of arbitration proceedings. 24

27.         Place and Date of Arbitration. 24

28.         Finality of the Arbitral Award. 25

29.         Applicable law.. 25

Part III -  Conciliation Rules. 25

30.         Commencement of Conciliation. 25

31.         Notification of Conciliation. 27

32.         Appointment of Case Manager and Pre-Conciliation Call 28

33.         Appointment of conciliator. 28

34.         Challenge to conciliator. 28

35.         Statements before conciliator. 30

36.         Role of conciliator. 30

37.         Cooperation of parties with conciliator. 31

38.         Conciliation Agreement. 31

39.         Termination of Conciliation. 32

40.         No commencement of Arbitration proceedings or judicial proceedings. 33

41.         Admissibility of Conciliation proceedings in other proceedings. 33

42.         Representation and Assistance. 33

43.         Date of Commencement of Conciliation Proceedings. 34

Part IV - Mediation Rules. 34

44.         Commencement of Mediation. 34

45.         Notification of Mediation. 35

46.         Appointment of Case Manager and Pre-Mediation Call 36

47.         Appointment of mediator. 36

48.         Challenge to mediator. 36

49.         Statements before mediator. 38

50.         Role of mediator. 38

51.         Cooperation of parties with mediator. 39

52.         Mediation Agreement. 39

53.         Termination of Mediation. 40

54.         No commencement of Arbitration proceedings or judicial proceedings. 41

55.         Admissibility of Mediation proceedings in other proceedings. 41

56.         Representation and Assistance. 41

57.         Date of Commencement of Mediation Proceedings. 41

Part V: Miscellaneous Provisions. 42

58.         Stamp Duty. 42

59.         Protection against any act done in good faith. 42

60.         Maintenance of data and records by Sama. 42

61.         Confidentiality. 43

62          Monitoring of proceedings. 43

63          Exclusion of liability. 43

64          Language. 43

65          Procuring a verified copy. 43

66          Amendment to Sama Rules. 44

67          Working Hours. 44

68          Notices and communication. 44

69          Waiver of the right to object. 45

70          Fees. 45

71          Succession. 45

72          Sama ODR Platform.. 46

73          Jurisdiction. 46


Part I: General Rules

1. Short Title, Extent and Application

1.1. Where parties have agreed to refer their disputes to Sama for resolution through arbitration, mediation or conciliation, the parties shall be deemed to have agreed that such arbitration, mediation or conciliation shall be conducted and administered in accordance with these rules, as amended from time to time (subsequently to referred as “Sama Rules” in short). Sama Rules include the rules, guidelines, code(s) of conduct, protocols, terms and conditions, policies, annexures etc. which are fundamental in the working of the Sama ODR Platform (as defined below).

1.2. If any of the Sama Rules are in conflict with the mandatory provisions of law applicable to arbitration, mediation, conciliation or the agreement between the parties from which such parties cannot derogate, such mandatory provisions or agreements shall prevail, as the case may be.

1.3. These Sama Rules will apply automatically in the form of binding nature and shall apply to each arbitration, mediation or conciliation commenced under Sama Rules on or after [Month] [Date], 2021.

2. Definitions and Interpretations

2.1. In these Sama Rules, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(a) Arbitral Tribunalshall mean an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators appointed under Sama Rules.

(b) Arbitration Act” shall mean the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 as amended from time to time.

(c) Arbitration Notification” shall mean written communication sent by Sama when one of parties to Sama Arbitration Clause commences arbitration as per the Sama Rules and shall contain all the information uploaded by the Claimant on the Sama ODR Platform.

(d)  “Award” shall mean any interim award, final award or any additional award as per the Arbitration Act.

(e) Case Managershall mean the individual appointed by Sama to provide administrative and secretarial services to the DRP and the parties to any proceedings under Sama Rules.

(f) Claimant” shall mean:

(i) in the case of arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules, the party initiating the claim;

(ii) In the case of conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules, the party initiating dispute resolution under Part III of Sama Rules;

(iii) in the case of mediation proceedings under Sama Rules, the party initiating dispute resolution under Part IV of Sama Rules.

(g) Conciliation Notification” shall mean written communication sent by Sama when one of parties to Sama Conciliation Clause commences conciliation as per the Sama Rules and shall contain all the information uploaded by the Claimant on the Sama ODR Platform.

(h) Court” shall mean the meaning ascribed to the term under the Arbitration Act.

(i) DRP” shall mean an independent person who is appointed by Sama as an arbitrator, mediator or conciliator to resolve the dispute under Sama Rules.

(j) DRP Review Committee” shall mean the committee of the experts constituted by Sama which determines the questions raised in relation to the Sama Rules, including disputes over the appointment of DRPs, their replacement or other related matters.

(k) Invitation to Arbitration” shall mean the invitation sent by one party to another party to participate in the arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules.

(l) Invitation to Conciliation” shall mean the invitation sent by one party to another party to participate in the conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules.

(m) Invitation to Mediation” shall mean the invitation sent by one party to another party to participate in the mediation proceedings under Sama Rules.

(n) Letter of Request” shall mean the request made by the Claimant to Sama to conduct proceedings under Sama Rules on the Sama ODR Platform, which should be in a form and manner similar to the template provided in Annexure II.

(o) Mediation Notification” shall mean written communication sent by Sama when one of parties to Sama Mediation Clause commences mediation as per the Sama Rules and shall contain all the information uploaded by the Claimant on the Sama ODR Platform.

(p) Panel” shall mean the panel of DRP available with Sama, which is available on https://www.sama.live/neutrals.php.

(q) Pleadings” shall mean the following, as may be amended by the Parties in accordance with Sama Rules:

(i) Statement of Claim;

(ii) Statement of Defense, if any;

(iii) Counter-claim, if any;

(iv) rejoinder to the Statement of Defense;

(v) reply to the counterclaim;

(vi) rejoinder to counter claim’s reply; and/or

(vii) any other additional document or amended pleadings, as the Arbitral Tribunal may decide.

(r) Pre-Arbitration Call” shall mean the introductory call made by the Case Manager to the parties to arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules individually, wherein certain key information with regard to arbitration proceedings is communicated to the parties.

(s) Pre-Arbitration Notice” shall mean the notice of arbitration sent by the Claimant under section 21 of the Arbitration Act, which shall be in a form and manner similar to Annexure III.

(t) Pre-Conciliation Call” shall mean the introductory call made by the Case Manager to the parties to conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules individually, wherein certain key information with regard to conciliation proceedings is communicated to the parties.

(u) Pre-Mediation Call” shall mean the introductory call made by the Case Manager to the parties to mediation proceedings under Sama Rules individually, wherein certain key information with regard to mediation proceedings is communicated to the parties.

(v) Respondent” shall mean the party called upon to issue a response to a claim filed by the Claimant in arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules;

(w) Sama” shall mean ODRWays Solutions Private Limited.

(x) Sama Arbitration Clause” shall mean an agreement between the parties to resolve their dispute through arbitration or conducting arbitration proceedings and its associated administrative services through Sama on the Sama ODR Platform, which has been agreed by the parties either prior or post the occurrence of the dispute:

(i) in writing, as a clause which is a part of the main contract between the parties or as a separate arbitration agreement; or

(ii) on Sama ODR Platform.

(y) Sama Conciliation Clause” shall mean an agreement between the parties to resolve their dispute through conciliation or conducting conciliation proceedings and its associated administrative services through Sama on the Sama ODR Platform, which has been agreed by the parties either prior or post the occurrence of the dispute:

(i) in writing, as a clause which is a part of the main contract between the parties or as a separate agreement; or

(ii) on Sama ODR Platform.

(z) Sama Mediation Clause” shall mean an agreement between the parties to resolve their dispute through mediation or conducting mediation proceedings and its associated administrative services through Sama on the Sama ODR Platform, which has been agreed by the parties either prior or post the occurrence of the dispute:

(i) in writing, as a clause which is a part of the main contract between the parties or as a separate agreement; or

(ii) on Sama ODR Platform.

(aa) Sama ODR Platform” shall mean the internet-based dispute resolution platform developed by Sama with the domain name as www.sama.live

(bb) Statement of Claimshall mean a statement from the Claimant containing the following:

(i) A statement of fact supporting the claim;

(ii) The grounds or arguments (if any) supporting the claim;

(iii) The relief(s) claimed along with the amount of claim, if ascertainable.

(cc) Statement of Defense” shall mean a statement from the Respondent(s) containing the full defense to the Statement of Claim, which shall include:

(i) a statement of facts and contentions supporting such defense;

(ii) The relief(s) claimed, if any;

2.2. In the Sama Rules, unless a contrary intention appears:

(a) “law” shall mean, applicable, constitution, statute, law, rule, regulation, ordinance, judgement, order, decree, authorisation, or any published directive, guideline, notice, requirement or governmental restriction, having the force of law in any jurisdiction; and

(b) “person” includes an individual, corporation, partnership, joint venture, association of persons, trust, unincorporated organisation, government (central, state or otherwise), sovereign state, or any agency, department, authority or political subdivision thereof, international organisation, agency or authority (in each case, whether or not having separate legal personality) and shall include their respective successors and assigns and in case of an individual shall include his legal representatives, administrators, executors and heirs and in case of a trust shall include the trustee or the trustees for the time being.

(c) the terms “hereof”, “herein”, “hereby”, “hereto” and derivatives or similar words refer to this entire Sama Rules;

(d) reference to a gender shall include references to the female, male and neuter gender;

(e) reference to a law or a provision of law is a reference to that law or that provision of law as amended or re-enacted from time to time;

(f) the singular includes the plural (and vice versa);

(g) the headings in the Sama Rules are inserted for convenience of reference only and are to be ignored in construing and interpreting the Sama Rules; 

(h) reference to the words “include” or “including” shall be construed without limitation;

(i) reference to “signature” under the Sama Rules shall include electronic signature under the Information Technology Act, 2000, as amended from time to time.

(j) reference to arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules shall include ‘international commercial arbitration’ as defined in the Arbitration Act;

(k) a time of day is a reference to Indian Standard Time.

(l) reference of any number of days shall mean such number of days (other than a Saturday or Sunday) where Sama is open for its ordinary business activities.

(m) any reference to Sama Rules shall include rules, guidelines, code of conduct, protocols, terms and conditions, policies, annexures etc. which are fundamental in the working of the Sama ODR Platform and are available at: https://www.sama.live/rules_and_procedures.php

(n) words and abbreviations which have well known technical, trade or commercial meaning, are used in these Sama Rules in accordance with such meaning;

(o) reference to any article, clause, annexure or schedule means an article or clause of, or an annexure or schedule to the Sama Rules.

Part II - Arbitration Rules

3. Commencement of Arbitration

3.1. Arbitration proceedings under the Sama Rules shall commence:

(a) in case the parties have an existing Sama Arbitration Clause, then in accordance with Rule [3.2];

(b) in case the parties do not have an existing Sama Arbitration Clause, then in accordance with Rule [3.3.];

(c) on receipt of an order of court referring the parties to an arbitration.

3.2. Any party to an existing Sama Arbitration Clause may initiate an arbitration proceeding on the Sama ODR Platform by registering themselves and providing the following on the Sama ODR Platform:

(a) Full name and contact details of the parties to arbitration (including full address of both parties, email addresses and registered mobile numbers);

(b) copy of Pre-Arbitration Notice;

(c) copy of Sama Arbitration Clause;

(d) Letter of Request;

(e) any agreement or contract out of or in connection with which the dispute has arisen;

(f) Statement of Claim (along with supporting documents and Statement of Verification);

(g) a statement of any matters which the parties have previously agreed to as to the conduct of the arbitration or with respect to which the Claimant wishes to make a proposal (such as the number of arbitrators, applicable of law, the language of the arbitration and seat of arbitration);

(h) such other documents and information relevant to the dispute, as deemed fit by Claimant.

3.3. Any party which has not previously agreed to a Sama Arbitration Clause may initiate an arbitration proceeding on the Sama ODR Platform by registering themselves on Sama ODR Platform and inviting the other party to resolve the dispute through arbitration under Sama Rules, in the following manner:

(a) Such party may send an Invitation to Arbitration (through Sama ODR Platform or otherwise) to the other party which should contain the following:

(i) Request to refer the dispute to arbitration on Sama ODR Platform in accordance with Sama Rules;

(ii) a statement briefly describing the nature and circumstances of the dispute;

(iii) timeframe to accept the Invitation to Arbitration (if required);

(iv) such other documents and information relevant to the dispute, as deemed fit by Claimant.

(b) If the other party accepts the Invitation to Arbitration (in writing or through Sama ODR Platform) within 7 days from the date of the receipt of the Invitation to Arbitration or within the time frame mentioned in the Invitation to Arbitration, then:

(i) it will amount to a Sama Arbitration Clause between the parties and the other party would be required to register themselves on the Sama ODR Platform;

(ii) In case the Invitation to Arbitration does not amount to or include a Pre-Arbitration Notice, such Pre-Arbitration Notice shall be served on the other party by the inviting party and a copy of the same has to be uploaded on the Sama ODR Platform within 7 (seven) days from the other party accepting the Invitation to Arbitration;

(iii) such Claimant shall upload the following document to initiate the arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules:

a. Full name and contact details of the parties to arbitration (including full address of both parties, email addresses and registered mobile numbers);

b. a copy of Pre-Arbitration Notice (if served separately in accordance with sub-clause (ii) above);

c. copy of the Sama Arbitration Clause;

d. Letter of Request;

e. any agreement or contract out of or in connection with which the dispute has arisen;

f. Statement of Claim (along with supporting documents and Statement of Verification);

g. such other documents and information relevant to the dispute, as deemed fit by Claimant.

(c) If the other party does not accept or fails to respond to the Invitation to Arbitration within the stipulated time as mentioned in sub-clause (b) above, then Sama shall notify the inviting party and close the case.

3.4. If any Court makes an order directing that an arbitration be held under Sama Rules, in addition to the documents listed in clause 3.2, the Claimant shall file such order of that Court or a copy thereof.

3.5. Sama shall send an Arbitration Notification to the parties to the arbitration upon successful registration on the Sama ODR Platform by:

(a) the Claimant under clause 3.2; or

(b) all the parties to the arbitration under clause 3.3 and clause 3.4. 

3.6. In case one party to Sama Arbitration Clause has filed suit in any court with respect to the same subject matter, then upon request by the other party to Sama Arbitration Clause the arbitration proceedings in accordance with Sama Rules shall continue by recording any objections as to jurisdiction by the party who has initiated such suit. The party seeking to continue with the arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules, if served in such suit, shall file necessary application(s) to appraise the court of the existence of the Sama ODR Clause.

3.7. In the event that Claimant fails to provide any information or comply with any of the requirements referred hereinabove, the Case Manager may fix a time not exceeding 30 days from receipt of Letter of Request by Sama within which the Claimant must comply, failing which the file shall be closed without prejudice to the Claimant’s right to resubmit the same Claim at a later date in another Letter of Request.

3.8. If any information or particulars regarding the Sama Arbitration Clause furnished by Claimant with the Letter of Request for arbitration is found to be incorrect or false, at any time subsequently, Sama shall have the power to reject the application for arbitration.

4. Appointment of Case Manager and Pre-Arbitration Call

4.1. Sama shall appoint a Case Manager within one (1) day from the receipt of Letter of Request by Sama and successful registration on the ODR Platform and shall notify all the parties to the dispute of the appointment of a Case Manager.

4.2. Case Manager shall conduct a Pre-Arbitration Call with the parties within two [2] days from the appointment of such Case Manager to explain the procedure of the arbitration proceedings under the Sama Rules, details of the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal, factual details of the dispute, and timeline to submit the written submissions and documents as prescribed under Sama Rules.

5. Constitution of Arbitral Tribunal

5.1. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties to arbitration, a sole arbitrator shall be appointed by Sama to constitute the Arbitral Tribunal within two (2) days from the receipt of the Letter of Request by Sama and such constitution of Arbitral Tribunal shall be notified to the parties forthwith.

5.2. In case the parties have agreed for appointment of more than one arbitrator to constitute the Arbitral Tribunal, Sama shall appoint such number of arbitrators as agreed by the parties within two (2) days from the receipt of the Letter of Request by Sama and such constitution of Arbitral Tribunal shall be notified to the parties forthwith.

5.3. All arbitrators shall be appointed by Sama from the Panel through a proprietary algorithm of Sama that takes into account the following parameters of the DRP:

(a) experience;

(b) subject matter expertise;

(c) language;

(d) training; and

(e) availability.

6. Administrative Assistance under Ad-Hoc Arbitration

6.1. Nothing in the Sama Rules, shall prevent parties to a dispute or arbitration agreement from naming Sama as the appointing authority in an ad-hoc arbitration (conducted outside the terms of Rule 3 above), without subjecting the arbitration to the provisions contained in the Sama Rules. In such circumstances, Sama may in its discretion act as the appointing authority in accordance with the parties’ agreement. The party requesting the appointment shall pay the appointment fees in force at the time of such request.

7. Declaration by Appointed Arbitrator

7.1. A declaration in accordance with Section 12 read with Fifth Schedule, Sixth Schedule and Seventh Schedule of the Arbitration Act shall be made by the arbitrator appointed by Sama in relation to his independence, impartiality and competence within one (1) day from such appointment.

8. Challenge of Arbitrators

8.1. Any arbitrator appointed by Sama may be challenged by either parties if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to the arbitrator’s impartiality or independence, or if the arbitrator becomes de jure or de facto unable to fulfil their functions or is not fulfilling those functions in accordance with the Sama Rules or within the prescribed time limits.

8.2. Any party to arbitration may challenge the appointment of arbitrator(s) on the grounds described above or provided in the Arbitration Act. Such challenge to the arbitrator must be made within three (3) days of the declaration(s) being made by the arbitrator as per Rule 7.1. (“Challenge Period”) and must provide for the grounds of challenge and should be submitted to the DRP Review Committee in writing via email to info@sama.live and shall be sent vide Sama ODR Platform to the other parties.

8.3. When an arbitrator is challenged by any party, within three days from the receipt of such challenge of arbitrator by Sama,:

(a) the other parties may agree to such challenge and may mutually request for any other DRP to act as the arbitrator from the Panel, in which case Sama may appoint such arbitrator to the Arbitral Tribunal;

(b) the other parties may agree to such challenge but may be unable to mutually agree on a new arbitrator as per Rule 8.3.(a) above, in which case either one or all parties to arbitration can request for a specific arbitrator from the Panel and the final discretion of the arbitrator appointment shall lie with Sama;

(c) the challenged arbitrator may also choose to voluntarily withdraw as an arbitrator from such arbitrator, in which case Sama will appoint a new arbitrator from the Panel.

Provided that in none of the situations mentioned in Rule [8.3.], the change of arbitrator should be deemed to be acceptance of any ground of challenge to the arbitrator raised by any party.

8.4. Upon challenge to an arbitrator by any party, in case none of the events provided in Rule [8.3.] occur within three (3) days from the receipt of challenge of arbitrator by Sama, Sama shall refer such challenge to the DRP Review Committee.

8.5. Within three (3) days from the reference of such challenge to the DRP Review Committee, the DRP Review Committee may:

(a) decide to continue with the same arbitrator, in case it finds no merit in such challenge; or

(b) decide to change the arbitrator, in which case it shall appoint a new arbitrator from the Panel.

8.6. The decision of the DRP Review Committee shall be final and binding on all parties to arbitration.

8.7. In case of death of the appointed arbitrator or due to impossibility for such appointed arbitrator to act, Sama shall have the sole discretion to appoint a new arbitrator from the Panel and such newly appointed arbitrator, as far as arbitration proceedings have taken place, will continue proceedings from thereon and any action taken prior to such replacement will not be affected.

9. Fast Track Arbitration

9.1. Any party to a dispute may commence Fast Track Arbitration under Sama Rules if the parties have agreed in writing to refer the disputes to Fast Track Arbitration under Sama Rules. Such commencement of Fast Track Arbitration shall be in accordance with the process laid down in Rule [3.2] above and in such case, any reference to ‘arbitration’ shall mean ‘Fast Track Arbitration’.

9.2. In case the anticipated claim amount in any dispute does not exceed the amount of INR ten crore (10,00,00,000), any party to such dispute may commence Fast Track Arbitration in accordance with the process laid down in Rule 3.3 above. In such case, any reference to ‘arbitration’ under Rule 3.3 shall mean ‘Fast Track Arbitration’.

9.3. Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary contained in the Sama Arbitration Clause, all disputes under Fast Track Arbitration shall be:

(a) referred to a sole arbitrator.

(b) determined on the basis of written pleadings, written arguments/submissions, documents and evidence filed by parties on pre-agreed dates that are made known to the parties by the arbitrator.

(c) determined without any oral hearings, unless the parties expressly request for it or when the Arbitral Tribunal considers it necessary for clarifying any issue(s).

(d) concluded (including the issuance of arbitral award within three months from the date of constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal.

9.4. All parties shall upload the necessary documents and evidence, as they deem fit, or as required by the Arbitral Tribunal on the Sama ODR Platform.

9.5. The Arbitral Tribunal shall declare the Fast Track Arbitration closed when it is satisfied that the parties have had adequate opportunity to present submissions and evidence and shall reserve the matter for issuance of the Award on the date decided by the Arbitral Tribunal.

10. Date of Commencement of Arbitral Proceedings

10.1. The Arbitral Tribunal shall be deemed to have entered on the reference on the day on which arbitrator or all the arbitrators, as the case may be have received notice in writing of their appointment by Sama after disposal of the challenge to their appointment, if any, made or upon expiry of Challenge Period.

11. Interim Relief

11.1. The Arbitral Tribunal may, at the request of a party to the arbitration under Sama Rules and as it deems appropriate, issue an order grating an injunction or any other interim relief.

11.2. The Arbitral Tribunal may order the party requesting interim relief to provide appropriate security in connection with the relief sought.

11.3. A party may, in case the Arbitral Tribunal has no power or is unable for the time being to act effectively, apply to any Court for interim or conservatory relief.

11.4. Any application and any order for such interim measure after the formation of the Arbitral Tribunal shall be promptly communicated by the applicant to the Arbitral Tribunal, Sama and to all the other parties on the Sama ODR Platform.

12. Emergency Arbitration

12.1. In cases of exceptional urgency, a party seeking emergency interim relief may apply on the Sama ODR Platform seeking appointment of an emergency arbitrator. Such request may be concurrent with the filing of the Letter of Request to arbitrate or prior to the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal. The request for appointment of an emergency arbitrator and urgent interim reliefs shall include:

(a) a brief description of the facts and circumstances giving rise to the need for emergency relief along with supporting reasons/ grounds thereof;

(b) the nature of relief sought;

(c) confirmation that a copy of the request for appointment of emergency arbitrator has been sent to all other parties to arbitration under Sama Rules;

(d) a confirmation that the prescribed fees as the ‘Fee Schedule’ at Annexure IV has been paid (or) an undertaking that it will be paid within 7 days of appointment of the emergency arbitrator. 

12.2. The fees paid by a party towards the appointment of an emergency arbitrator under the Sama Rules shall be non-refundable.

12.3. Sama shall determine the application/ request for appointment of an emergency arbitrator within one [1] day of such request, and if granted, appoint an emergency arbitrator from the Panel within one [1] day of granting such request. 

12.4. The emergency arbitrator shall be bound by the rules pertaining to disclosures/declarations, as prescribed under the Sama Rules for all arbitrators.

12.5. All hearings by the emergency arbitrator shall be on the Sama ODR Platform, unless requested otherwise by the party seeking the appointment of the emergency arbitrator.   In case the party seeking appointment of emergency arbitrator requests for offline in-person hearing, the other party shall decide if they agree to conduct the offline in-person hearing.

12.6. In case of any disagreement between the parties regarding the conduct of the offline in-person hearing regarding emergency relief, the emergency arbitrator so appointed shall decide the same and the decision of the emergency arbitrator shall be final and binding.

12.7. The emergency arbitrator shall fix a schedule for the consideration of the emergency application and interim reliefs within two [2] days of their appointment, and shall ensure a reasonable opportunity of being heard to all the parties before granting any urgent, interim or conservatory measures and proceed to make an order by giving reasons.

12.8. The emergency arbitrator shall pass the Award or order interim reliefs as he/ she finds suitable within a period of fourteen [14] days from the date of appointment of such emergency arbitrator.

Provided that in exceptional circumstances, upon request by the emergency arbitrator or the parties to arbitration under Sama Rules, Sama may grant an exception of additional ten (10) days.

12.9. An emergency Arbitrator may not be a constituent of any Arbitral Tribunal in any future arbitration under Sama Rules relating to the dispute, unless agreed by all the parties to the dispute.

12.10. If the Arbitral Tribunal is not constituted under the Sama Rules, any order or Award made by an emergency arbitrator shall cease to be binding upon after sixty (60) days from the date of such Award.

13. Statement of Claim

13.1. Unless already submitted pursuant to Rule 3.2 or 3.3, Claimant must present and upload the Statement of Claim, documents and evidence (declaration with signature) on the Sama ODR Platform within three (3) days from the date of commencement of arbitral proceedings and the Arbitral Tribunal or Case Manager shall send a copy of the Statement of Claim and other attached documents uploaded by the Claimant to the Respondent(s).

13.2. In case the Claimant fails to submit the Statement of Claim within the timeline prescribed in Annexure I, the Arbitral Tribunal may terminate the arbitral proceedings in case or give any other order as it may deem appropriate.

14. Statement of Defense and Counter-Claim

14.1. Upon receipt of the Statement of Claim, the Respondent shall, within seven (7) days from the date of commencement of arbitral proceedings or seven (7) days from the receipt of Statement of Claim (whichever is later), present and upload the Statement of Defense, documents and evidence (declaration with Signature) on the Sama ODR Platform and the Arbitral Tribunal or Case Manager shall send a copy of the Statement of Defense and other attached documents uploaded by the Claimant to the Respondent(s).

14.2. Along with the Statement of Defense, the Respondent may also file and upload counter claim(s), if any, on the Sama ODR Platform against the Claimant, provided the counter claim arises under the same transaction as the original claim along with full details supported by all documents and information within seven (7) days from the date of commencement of arbitral proceedings or seven (7) days from the receipt of Statement of Claim (whichever is later).

14.3. If the Respondent fails to file the Statement of Defense within the timeline prescribed in Rule 14.1, the Arbitral Tribunal may continue to proceed with arbitration and may waive such party’s right to furnish Statement of Defense.

14.4. Claimant shall have the right to submit rejoinder or reply to counter claim on the Sama ODR Platform with the prior permission of the Arbitral Tribunal within five (5) days from the receipt of Statement of Defense or counter claim(s) and Arbitral Tribunal shall share such rejoinder / reply to counter-claim to the Respondent.

14.5. The Arbitral Tribunal appointed to adjudicate upon the original claim will also adjudicate upon the counter-claim and there will be no change in the number of members of Arbitral Tribunal already constituted on the basis of original claim.

15. Amendments to Pleadings

15.1. Any party to the arbitration may amend, supplement or modify their respective Pleadings, with the prior permission from the Arbitral Tribunal.

15.2. The Arbitral Tribunal may allow such parties requesting to amend, supplement or modify their respective Pleadings unless delay causes due to such amendment, supplemental or modified Pleadings would cause irreparable prejudice to the other parties.

15.3. The submission of all the Pleadings (including any amendment, supplement or modification) shall be in conformity with Sama Rules and within the timeline prescribed by the Sama Rules unless decided otherwise by the Arbitral Tribunal.

16. Further Pleadings

16.1. The Arbitral Tribunal may decide, in its sole discretion, whether any additional Pleadings shall be required from the parties or if the same may be presented by them.

16.2. The Arbitral Tribunal shall fix the periods of time for presenting such additional Pleadings. The Tribunal may further limit the length and scope of such additional Pleadings and witness statements/evidence (including fact witnesses and experts).

17. Presentation of Witness

17.1. The Arbitral Tribunal may, prior to any oral hearing, require any party to give written notice of any witness (including expert witness) that any party wishes to produce before the Arbitral Tribunal, which shall include:

(a) The identity of the witness;

(b) Relevance to the issue.

17.2. All costs and fees the expenditure shall be incurred by the party producing the witness, in case the witness being produced before the Arbitral Tribunal on Sama ODR Platform, under Rule [17.1.] above, is an expert witness.

17.3. Such witness may tender evidence by way of a duly affirmed statement, uploaded on the Sama ODR Platform by the party intending to produce the said witness.

17.4. The Arbitral Tribunal shall be at liberty to determine the manner in which witnesses may be examined, and may direct that the testimony of any witness be presented in such form as they may prescribe.

17.5. Notwithstanding anything contained herein, no cross-examination of a witness shall be permitted in case of Fast Track Arbitration.

18. Expert appointed by Arbitral Tribunal

18.1. The Arbitral Tribunal may, following consultation with the parties, appoint an expert to report on specific issues which shall be set out in writing and require a party to give such expert any relevant information or to produce / provide any relevant document, as it deems fit.

18.2. Any such expert appointed by the Arbitral Tribunal pursuant to clause [17.1] above shall upload the report of their findings in writing on the Same ODR Platform which shall be shared to all the parties.

18.3. The Arbitral Tribunal may decide to allow parties to file written responses to such reports submitted by such experts, in a form and manner and within the timeline as deemed fit by the Arbitral Tribunal.

18.4. Except in the case of Fast Track Arbitration, the Arbitral Tribunal may decide, it if considers necessary, to request such witness to participate in any hearing.

18.5. Unless decided otherwise by the Arbitral Tribunal, each party shall bear equal cost regarding such expert witness appointed by the Arbitral Tribunal.

19. Evidence

19.1. In arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules, other than Fast Track Arbitration, evidence will be taken on the declaration given on oath/self-certified and cross examination will be allowed only if the Arbitral Tribunal permits.

19.2. The Arbitral Tribunal shall have the sole right to determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of any evidence and shall not be bound by the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 or any other applicable law in this regard or by strict rules of evidence.

19.3. All evidence, documents or statements that the parties wish to produce before the Arbitral Tribunal shall be uploaded within the timelines stipulated in Sama Rules or as decided by the Arbitral Tribunal on the Sama ODR Platform.

19.4. The Arbitral Tribunal shall have the power to:

(a) conduct such enquiries as may appear to be necessary or expedient;

(b) order any party to produce to the Arbitral Tribunal and to the other parties for inspection and to supply copies of, any document in their possession, custody or control which the Arbitral Tribunal considers relevant to the case and material to its outcome.

20. Hearing

20.1. In arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules, other than Fast Track Arbitration or unless decided otherwise by the Arbitral Tribunal, the Arbitral Tribunal shall conduct hearings (if required) every day after submission/completion of the Pleadings.

20.2. The Arbitral Tribunal shall intimate all the parties to arbitration upon conclusion of all hearings and shall conclude the arbitral proceedings under Sama Rules pending only the issuance of Award within the stipulated timeline.

20.3. If any party to the arbitration proceeding under Sama Rules fails to appear at a hearing without showing sufficient cause for such failure, the Arbitral Tribunal may proceed with such arbitration and may pass the Award basis the Pleadings and evidence before it.

20.4. All hearing in relation to arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules and shall be private. Any recordings, transcripts, documents or other material in relation to the arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules shall remain confidential.

20.5. All hearings by the arbitrator shall be on the Sama ODR Platform, unless requested otherwise by any party to such arbitration proceedings. In case any party to arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules requests for offline in-person hearing, the other party(ies) shall decide if they agree to conduct the offline in-person hearing and the party(ies) who will bear the cost of such offline in-person hearing.

20.6. In case of any disagreement between the parties regarding the conduct or fees of the offline in-person hearing in relation to the parties to arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules, the Arbitral Tribunal shall decide the same and the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal shall be final and binding.

20.7. In the case the Arbitral Tribunal decides to conduct offline in-person hearing, the Arbitral Tribunal shall carry out the arbitration proceedings at the agreed place of arbitration and Sama will receive the additional fees set forth in the schedule annexed to Sama Rules.

21. Adjournment

21.1. The Arbitral Tribunal shall conclude the arbitral proceedings within thirty [30] days from the date of commencement of arbitration. The Arbitral Tribunal shall not provide any adjournment in the proceedings unless provided herein.

21.2. The Arbitral Tribunal may, with reasons to be recorded in writing and communicated to all the parties to arbitral proceedings, grant adjournment if found to be justifiable in an exceptional, necessary and appropriate case, provided that:

(a) the time for such adjournment shall in no case be more than twice the time limit prescribed for such action in the Sama Rules; and

(b) the arbitral proceedings shall be concluded within sixty [60] days from the date of commencement of arbitration.

21.3. If the request for adjournment has arisen, then such application seeking adjournment supported by sufficient and cogent reasons and necessary documents, shall be uploaded on the Sama ODR Platform by 2 pm on the day preceding the due date of the action for which adjournment is sought, and the other Party must be immediately informed of such application seeking adjournment in writing by the Party making such request.

21.4. If the other party has any objection to the request the adjournment, he shall necessarily file such objection in writing within twenty-four (24) hours on the Sama ODR Platform.

21.5. The Arbitral Tribunal shall make a decision regarding the adjournment considering the facts and circumstances of the request, after giving due consideration to the views of the other party.

21.6. The Arbitral Tribunal may determine costs (if any), payable by the party seeking such adjournment.

22. Default

22.1. If either party to the arbitral proceedings default on their obligations under the Sama Rules (for eg: the obligation to file Pleadings within the time limit stipulated under Sama Rules), without proper reason, the Arbitral Tribunal may continue with the proceedings, and any right that may have been accorded to such party as a result of compliance with the said obligation shall stand forfeited.

23. Timelines for grant of Award

23.1. The Award shall be made within five (5) days from the day when the Arbitral Tribunal intimates all the parties regarding conclusion of arbitral proceedings, unless, on reasonable grounds recorded in writing and communicated to all the parties, the Arbitral Tribunal extends such time period upto ten [10] days from the day when the Arbitral Tribunal intimates all the parties regarding conclusion of arbitral proceedings.

23.2. In case the Award has not been made even in the extended time limit of upto ten [10] days (if granted by the Arbitral Tribunal), the time limit may be extended in exceptional circumstances, as deemed fit by the Arbitral Tribunal, and which shall not exceed the total time limit prescribed in section 29A of the Arbitration Act.

23.3. In case the Award has not been made within the extended time limit mentioned in Rule [23.2] above, then the arbitration proceedings would stand terminated, unless the time limit is extended by a Court as provided in section 29A of the Arbitration Act.

23.4. If the arbitration proceedings terminate due to expiry of the time period stipulates in this Rule, any party to such arbitral proceedings may make a request to Sama for the constitution of a new Arbitral Tribunal in accordance with Sama Rules.

23.5. Subject to mutual consent of parties to such arbitration proceedings, the proceedings may be conducted under the Fast Track Arbitration under Sama Rules, where the oral evidence of parties already recorded during the previous proceedings may be taken on record.

24. Making and contents of Arbitral Award

24.1. The Arbitral Tribunal shall make all decisions by majority, in case the Arbitral Tribunal consist of more than one arbitrator.

24.2. The Award shall be made in writing and must be signed by all members of the Arbitral Tribunal.  In case if any member of the Arbitral Tribunal is unable to sign the Additional Award for any reason whatsoever, then the Additional Award shall state such reason and such Additional Award shall be binding on all the parties as long as it is signed by majority of the arbitrators constituting the Arbitral Tribunal.

24.3. The Award shall state:

(a) the grounds / reasons for the conclusion, unless agreed otherwise by the parties to the arbitral proceedings;

(b) place of arbitration proceedings; and

(c) date of making of the Award; and

(d) cost of the arbitration proceedings and the liability of the parties for such cost

24.4. In case of any settlement between the parties to the arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules, the Arbitral Tribunal may also issue an Award containing the terms of settlement and such Award shall clearly stipulate that it is pursuant to the mutual consent of the parties to such arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules.

24.5. The Award shall be uploaded on the Sama ODR Platform by the Arbitral Tribunal and Sama shall send certified copies of the Award upon full settlement of the cost incurred as specified in the Award.

24.6. The Arbitral Tribunal shall be at liberty make separate Awards on multiple issues at different times during the arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules.

25. Modification of Arbitral Award

25.1. Arbitral Tribunal may within five (5) days from issuance of the Award correct the counting errors, clerical error, typographical, computer generated errors or other similar errors appearing in the Award, in the following cases:

(a) suo motu;

(b) upon receipt of a mutual request by the parties to the arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules; or

(c) on the application of one party (which shall not be received after two (2) days from the issuance of the Award) to the arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules and after providing a hearing opportunity to the other party.

25.2. If any part of the claim is left out after due consideration and has not been considered in the relief contained in the Award, the Arbitral Tribunal can pass an additional award within three [3] days from receipt of request by one party (which shall not be received after two (2) days from the issuance of the Award) to arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules and giving notice and a hearing opportunity to the other party within the aforementioned time period under the Sama Rules.

25.3. The additional award shall be made in writing and must be signed by all the members of the Arbitral Tribunal. In case if any member of the Arbitral Tribunal is unable to sign the additional award for any reason whatsoever, then the additional award shall state such reason and such additional award shall be binding on all the parties as long as it is signed by majority of the arbitrators constituting the Arbitral Tribunal.

26. Termination of arbitration proceedings

26.1. The arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules shall stand terminated in line with section 32 of the Arbitration Act.

27. Place, Seat and Date of Arbitration

27.1. In case of international commercial arbitration, unless otherwise agreed by the parties to arbitration proceeding under Sama Rules in writing, the place and seat of arbitration in proceedings on the Sama ODR Platform shall be Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

27.2. In case of domestic arbitration, unless otherwise agreed by the parties to arbitration proceeding under Sama Rules in writing, the place and seat of arbitration in proceedings on the Sama ODR Platform shall be the place where:

a) in case the defendant is an individual, such defendant at the time of initiation of arbitration proceedings, actually and voluntarily resides; or

b) in case the defendant is an incorporated entity, such defendant at the time of initiation of dispute has the registered office.

27.3. The date of uploading the Award on the Sama ODR Platform shall be considered the date of such Award.

28. Finality of the Arbitral Award

28.1. The Award passed in accordance with the Sama Rules and the procedure described therein shall be binding on the parties to such arbitration proceedings and the person claiming the relief from such Award.

29. Applicable law

29.1. In any arbitration proceedings under Sama Rules, other than an international commercial arbitration under Sama Rules, the Arbitral Tribunal shall decide the dispute submitted to arbitration in accordance with the substantive law for the time being in force in India.

29.2. In international commercial arbitration under Sama Rules:

(a) the Arbitral Tribunal shall decide the dispute in accordance with the rules of law designated by the parties as applicable to the substance of the dispute;

(b) any designation by the parties of the law or legal system of a given country shall be construed, unless otherwise expressed, as directly referring to the substantive law of that country and not to its conflict of laws rules;

(c) failing any designation of the law under clause (a) by the parties to the dispute under Sama Rules, the Arbitral Tribunal shall apply the laws of India unless it considers appropriate to apply the rules of law given all the circumstances surrounding the dispute.

29.3. The Arbitral Tribunal shall decide ex aequo et bono or as amiable compositeur only if the parties have expressly authorised it to do so.

29.4. While deciding and making an Award, the Arbitral Tribunal shall, in all cases, take into account the terms of the contract and trade usages applicable to the transaction.

Part III -  Conciliation Rules

30. Commencement of Conciliation

30.1. Conciliation proceedings under the Sama Rules shall commence:

(a) in case the parties have an existing Sama Conciliation Clause then, in accordance with Rule [30.3];

(b) in case the parties do not have an existing Sama Conciliation Clause then, in accordance with Rule [30.2];

30.2. Any party which is not a party to the Sama Conciliation Clause may:

(a) mutually agree, in writing or on Sama ODR Platform, to Sama Conciliation Clause to refer any dispute (even prior to occurrence of the same) to conciliation on Sama ODR Platform in accordance with Sama Rules;

(b) mutually agree on the terms to settle the existing dispute and can present the same for conciliation as provided under Rule [30.6].

30.3. Any party to Sama Conciliation Clause may commence conciliation proceedings on the Sama ODR Platform by registering themselves and providing the following on Sama ODR Platform:

(a) full name and contact details of the parties to conciliation (including full address of both parties, email addresses and registered mobile numbers);

(b) scanned copy of Sama Conciliation Clause;

(c) Letter of Request;

(d) any agreement or contract out of or in connection with which the dispute has arisen;

(e) a statement briefly describing the nature and circumstances of the dispute and the claims advances by the Claimant against any other party to the conciliation specifying the relief claimed including the amounts of any quantified claims and to the extent possible, an estimate of the monetary value of any other claims (along with supporting documents);

(f) a statement of any matters which the parties have previously agreed to as to the conduct of the conciliation or with respect to which the Claimant wishes to make a proposal (such as the number of arbitrators, applicable rule of law, the language of the conciliation or proposed settlement terms);

(g) such other documents and information relevant to the dispute, as deemed fit by Claimant.

30.4. Upon successful registration on the Sama ODR Platform in accordance with Rule [30.3] above, an Invitation to Conciliation shall be sent by Sama to the other party(ies) on the same day as receipt of Letter of Request by Sama.

30.5. The conciliation proceedings will be terminated by Sama, by informing the Claimant, in case the other party(ies):

(a) reject(s) the Invitation to Conciliation; or

(b) fails to respond to the Invitation to Conciliation within [7] days or within the timeline provided in the Invitation to Conciliation, whichever is later.

30.6. Pursuant to Rule [30.2(b)], the parties to a dispute can jointly request Sama vide Letter of Request and submit their joint agreed terms/stand/statement to Sama, in which case:

(a) Sama shall appoint a conciliator in accordance with Rule 33; and

(b) Such conciliator shall pass such settlement terms as the Conciliation Agreement under Rule 38.

31. Notification of Conciliation

31.1. In case the Invitation to Conciliation is accepted by the other party(ies) within seven (7) days or the period prescribed within the Invitation to Conciliation, whichever is later, the conciliation proceedings would be deemed to commence from:

(a) such date of acceptance of the Invitation to Conciliation, if such Invitation to Conciliation was sent through the Sama ODR Platform;

(b) such date of intimation by the Claimant of the acceptance to Invitation to Conciliation, if such Invitation to Conciliation was not sent through the Sama ODR Platform.

31.2. Within three (3) days from the date of commencement of conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules, Sama shall send a Conciliation Notification to the parties, which shall include:

(a) details of the Case Manager;

(b) proposed date and time of Pre-Conciliation Call;

(c) the important dates for submitting their individual or joint brief statement to the Conciliator, if required.

32. Appointment of Case Manager and Pre-Conciliation Call

32.1. Sama shall appoint a Case Manager within three (3) days from the commencement of conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules.

32.2. Case Manager shall make a Pre-Conciliation Call to the parties within three (3) days of the said Conciliation Notification where she/he will inform the parties of important dates for submitting their individual or joint brief statement to the conciliator and details of the conciliator.

32.3. Case Manager will be available to answer questions (if any) raised by the parties related to the process provided under Sama Rules and to administrative / secretarial assistance (if required) to the parties. Case Manager will also ascertain the correctness and genuineness of submissions made by the parties.

33. Appointment of conciliator

33.1. Unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties, Sama shall solely appoint one (1) conciliator from the Panel within two (2) days from the date of commencement of conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules.

Provided that depending upon the nature, complexity, and seriousness of the dispute, Sama shall also have the right to appoint more than one conciliator.

33.2. A declaration in accordance with Section 12 read with Fifth Schedule, Sixth Schedule and Seventh Schedule of the Arbitration Act shall be made by the conciliator appointed by Sama in relation to his independence, impartiality and competence within one (1) day from such appointment.

34. Challenge to conciliator

34.1. Any conciliator appointed by Sama may be challenged by either parties if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to the conciliator’s impartiality or independence, or if the conciliator becomes de jure or de facto unable to fulfil their functions or is not fulfilling those functions in accordance with the Sama Rules or within the prescribed time limits.

34.2. Any party to conciliation may challenge the appointment of conciliator(s) on the grounds described above or provided in the Arbitration Act. Such challenge to the conciliator must be made within three (3) days of the declaration(s) being made by the conciliator as per Rule [33.2] (“Conciliator Challenge Period”) and must provide for the grounds of challenge and should be submitted to the DRP Review Committee in writing via email to info@sama.live and shall be sent vide Sama ODR Platform to the other parties. If no party raises a challenge to the conciliator within the above mentioned timeline, then the conciliator would be considered to be appointed under Sama Rules.

34.3. When a conciliator is challenged by any party, within three (3) days from the receipt of such challenge:

(a) the other parties may agree to such challenge and may mutually request for any other DRP to act as the conciliator from the Panel;

(b) the other parties may agree to such challenge but may be unable to mutually agree on a new conciliator as per Rule 34.3.(a). above, in which case either one or all parties to conciliation can request for a specific conciliator from the Panel and the final discretion of the conciliator appointment shall lie with Sama;

(c) the challenged conciliator may also choose to voluntarily withdraw as a conciliator from such conciliation, in which case Sama will appoint a new conciliator from the Panel.

Provided that in none of the situations mentioned in Rule 34.3., the change of conciliator should be deemed to be acceptance of any ground of challenge to the conciliator raised by any party.

34.4. Upon challenge to a conciliator by any party, in case none of the events provided in Rule 34.3. occur within three (3) days from the receipt of challenge of conciliator by Sama, Sama shall refer such challenge to the DRP Review Committee.

34.5. Within three (3) days from the reference of such challenge to the DRP Review Committee, the DRP Review Committee may:

(a) decide to continue with the same conciliator, in case it finds no merit in such challenge; or

(b) decide to change the conciliator, in which case it shall appoint a new conciliator from the Panel.

34.6. The decision of the DRP Review Committee shall be final and binding on all parties to conciliation. The conciliator would be considered as appointed the day DRP Review Committee decides such challenge to conciliator.

34.7. In case of death of the appointed conciliator or due to impossibility for such appointed conciliator to act, Sama shall have the sole discretion to appoint a new conciliator from the Panel and such newly appointed conciliator, as far as conciliation proceedings have taken place, will continue proceedings from thereon and any action taken prior to such replacement will not be affected.

35. Statements before conciliator

35.1. The Conciliation Pleading Date shall be deemed to occur on the day on which conciliator(s) may have received notice in writing of their appointment by Sama after disposal of the challenge to their appointment, if any, made or upon expiry of Conciliator Challenge Period.

35.2. After the appointment of the conciliator, within five (5) days from the Conciliator Pleading Date, both Parties shall make their brief written statements indicating the nature of the dispute and points of settlement, which will be shared with each party through the Sama ODR Platform.

35.3. The conciliator may require the parties to furnish supplementary and additional information with the documents available in support of them, as it deems fit and may make such submitted information / documents available to the other Party.

35.4. In case both the parties agree mutually, they may present their joint statement/stands/terms and conditions agreed upon and the same shall be taken on record by the conciliator for her/his due consideration during conciliation proceedings.

36. Role of conciliator

36.1. The conciliator shall:

(a) assist the parties in an impartial and independent manner to arrive at a mutually accepted resolution of the dispute in a time bound manner;

(b) assist the Parties to negotiate and to identify and define the issues in dispute;

(c) consider and be guided by the principles of natural justice related to the objective, attainment of justice and fairness, the rights and responsibilities of the parties, the prevailing business practices and beliefs, the business practices existed in the past among the parties, the suggestions submitted by the parties and the circumstances surrounding;

(d) hold meetings with the parties to the dispute, either jointly or separately, and keep the confidential information with herself/himself, if requested by any party.

(e) communicate the details of all meetings, documents presented and suggestions provide by the conciliation to all the parties, except when the parties have expressly requested to keep such meeting or documents confidential.

(f) not be bound by the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

36.2. At any stage during the conciliation proceedings, the conciliator may make a suitable proposal on its behalf for the resolution of the dispute, which may be in writing and with reasons / grounds.

36.3. The conciliator, either on the basis of her own satisfaction or upon confirmation by the Case Manager, may verify the correctness and genuineness of the statement submitted by both the parties on Sama ODR Platform.

37. Cooperation of parties with conciliator

37.1. The parties shall in good faith to cooperate with the conciliator and, in particular, shall endeavour to comply with requests by the conciliator to submit written materials, provide evidence and attend meetings.

37.2. Each party may, on his own initiative or at the invitation of the conciliator, submit to the conciliator suggestions for the settlement of the dispute.

38. Conciliation Agreement

38.1. When it appears to the conciliator that there exist elements of a settlement which may be acceptable to the parties, such conciliator shall formulate the terms of a possible settlement and submit them to the parties on Sama ODR Platform for their observations .

38.2. The parties may draw up and sign a Conciliation Agreement on the Sama ODR Platform:

(a) if the parties reach an agreement on the settlement of the dispute prior to submitting the dispute to Sama for conciliation in accordance with Rule [30.6.];

(b) if the parties reach an agreement on the settlement of dispute during the conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules.

38.3. If requested by the parties, the conciliator may draw up, or assist the parties in drawing up the Conciliation Agreement within two (2) days from the receipt of such request.

38.4. Each party should give their observations to the conciliator within two (2) days from the receipt of the possible settlement by the conciliator, basis which the conciliator may reformulate the terms of a possible settlement in the light of such observations. After the consideration of both the parties to the settlement proposed by the conciliator and after the amendments being accepted or rejected by the parties themselves, the final settlement terms will be documented by the conciliator in the Conciliation Agreement and shared with the parties within two days from the receipt of such observations by the parties, if any.

38.5. The parties may sign the Conciliation Agreement within two (2) days from the receipt of the Conciliation Agreement. Once the parties (or their authorized representative) to the dispute have signed the Conciliation Agreement and after consideration and verification of the Conciliation Agreement, the conciliator shall authenticate and sign the Conciliation Agreement on the Sama ODR Platform within two (2) days from the date of the signature by the parties.

38.6. The Conciliation Agreement which is signed by the parties to the dispute and the conciliator shall be final and binding on the parties.

38.7. The conciliator shall furnish a copy of the same to each of the parties through Sama ODR Platform.

38.8. Unless decided otherwise by the parties, no conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules shall exceed beyond a period of 30 days from the date of commencement of conciliation proceedings.

38.9. The Conciliation Agreement signed by all the parties to the dispute and authenticated by the conciliator will have the same effect and status as the Award passed under Rule [24].

39. Termination of Conciliation

39.1. All conciliation proceeding under Sama Rules shall be deemed to be terminated in case:

(a) all parties to the dispute and the conciliator sign/counter sign the Conciliation Agreement;

(b) the conciliator makes a written declaration that the efforts towards conciliation is not just and meaningful;

(c) both parties address the conciliator in writing to announce that conciliation proceedings are now terminated.

(d) one party makes a written declaration to the other party and the conciliator, if appointed, that conciliation proceedings are terminated.

39.2. If there is also a provision for settlement of the dispute through arbitration under Sama Rules in case of failure/termination of conciliation under the Sama Conciliation Clause, then upon termination of conciliation proceeding under Rule [39.1.(c) or (d)], the dispute will be referred to arbitration under Sama Rules.

39.3. Under disputes referred to arbitration under Rule [39.2.] above, the conciliator who presided over the conciliation proceedings between the parties shall not act as arbitrator, Case Manager or legal representative of either party. The conciliator shall also not be presented by the parties as a witness in any arbitral or judicial proceedings.

39.4. Post termination of the conciliation proceedings as provided in this Rule, the conciliator will immediately inform the Case Manager, who will further inform the parties in this regard.

40. No commencement of Arbitration proceedings or judicial proceedings 

40.1. No party shall, during conciliation proceedings, conduct any arbitration proceeding or any kind of judicial proceeding in respect of the dispute that is the subject matter of conciliation proceedings unless either party considers that commencement of such arbitral or judicial proceedings are necessary for the protection/preservation of their respective rights or interests.

41. Admissibility of Conciliation proceedings in other proceedings

41.1. Parties in any arbitration or judicial proceeding (whether or not related to a dispute involving that conciliation proceeding under Sama Rules) shall not present as evidence nor rely on the facts of the conciliation proceeding being conducted under Sama Rules, including:

(a) suggestions and views expressed by the other party for possible resolution of the dispute on Sama ODR Platform;

(b) any admission/acceptance (except Conciliation Agreement) made by the other party in the course of conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules;

(c) any proposals made by the conciliator to either party;

(d) willingness expressed by the other party in accepting any proposal made by the conciliator.

42. Representation and Assistance

42.1. Each party may participate on their own or through a person authorized by such party to take final and conclusive decisions during conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules at every stage, whether or not such person is legally trained, provided that there is no threat, or fear forced upon such representative.

42.2. The conciliator may, in exercise of his discretion, refuse to allow such person to participate in the conciliation proceedings which may affect the credibility of conciliation proceedings under Sama Rules.

42.3. The concerned party shall inform the Case Manager, the conciliator and the other party of such representative as mentioned in Rule [42.1.] at least three (3) working days before the commencement of the proceedings.

43. Date of Commencement of Conciliation Proceedings

43.1. The conciliation proceeding shall be deemed to have entered on the reference on the day on which conciliator or all the conciliators, as the case may be have received notice in writing of their appointment by Sama Administration after disposal of the challenge to their appointment, if any, made.

Part IV - Mediation Rules

44. Commencement of Mediation

44.1. Mediation proceedings under the Sama Rules shall commence:

(a) in case the parties have an existing Sama Mediation Clause then, in accordance with Rule [44.3.];

(b) in case the parties do not have an existing Sama Mediation Clause then, in accordance with Rule [44.2.];

44.2. Any party which is not a party to the Sama Mediation Clause may mutually agree in writing or on Sama ODR Platform to Sama Mediation Clause to refer any dispute (even prior to occurrence of the same) to mediation on Sama ODR Platform in accordance with Sama Rules.

44.3. Any party to Sama Mediation Clause may commence mediation proceedings on the Sama ODR Platform by registering themselves and providing the following on Sama ODR Platform:

(a) full name and contact details of the parties to mediation (including full address of both parties, email addresses and registered mobile numbers);

(b) scanned copy of Sama Mediation Clause;

(c) Letter of Request;

(d) any agreement or contract out of or in connection with which the dispute has arisen;

(e) a statement briefly describing the nature and circumstances of the dispute and the claims advances by the Claimant against any other party to the mediation specifying the relief claimed including the amounts of any quantified claims and to the extent possible, an estimate of the monetary value of any other claims (along with supporting documents);

(f) a statement of any matters which the parties have previously agreed to as to the conduct of the mediation or with respect to which the Claimant wishes to make a proposal (such as the number of arbitrators, applicable rule of law, the language of the arbitration, seat of arbitration, proposed settlement terms);

(g) such other documents and information relevant to the dispute, as deemed fit by Claimant.

44.4. Upon successful registration on the Sama ODR Platform in accordance with Rule [44.3] above, an Invitation to Mediation shall be sent by Sama to the other party(ies) on the same day as receipt of Letter of Request by Sama.

44.5. The mediation proceedings will be terminated by Sama, by informing the Claimant, in case the other party(ies):

(a) reject(s) the Invitation to Mediation; or

(b) fails to respond to the Invitation to Mediation within [7] days or within the timeline provided in the Invitation to Mediation, whichever is later.

45. Notification of Mediation

45.1 In case the Invitation to Mediation is accepted by the other party(ies) within seven (7) days or the period prescribed within the Invitation to Mediation, whichever is later, the mediation proceedings would be deemed to commence from:

(a) such date of acceptance of the Invitation to Mediation, if such Invitation to Mediation was sent through the Sama ODR Platform;

(b) such date of intimation by the Claimant of the acceptance to Invitation to Mediation, if such Invitation to Mediation was not sent through the Sama ODR Platform.

45.2 Within three (3) days from the date of commencement of mediation proceedings under Sama Rules, Sama shall send a Mediation Notification to the parties, which shall include:

(a) details of the Case Manager;

(b) proposed date and time of Pre-Mediation Call;

(c) the important dates for submitting their individual or joint brief statement to the Mediator.

46. Appointment of Case Manager and Pre-Mediation Call

46.1 Sama shall appoint a Case Manager within three (3) days from the date of commencement of mediation proceedings under Sama Rules.

46.2 Case Manager shall make a Pre-Mediation Call to the parties within three (3) days of the said Mediation Notification where she/he will inform the parties of important dates for submitting their individual or joint brief statement to the mediator and details of the mediator.

46.3 Case Manager will be available to answer questions (if any) raised by the parties related to the process provided under Sama Rules and to administrative / secretarial assistance (if required) to the parties. Case Manager will also ascertain the correctness and genuineness of submissions made by the parties.

47. Appointment of mediator

47.1 Unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties, Sama shall solely appoint one (1) mediator from the Panel within two days from the date of commencement of mediation.

Provided that depending upon the nature, complexity, and seriousness of the dispute, Sama shall also have the right to appoint more than one mediator.

47.2 A declaration shall be made by the mediator appointed by Sama in relation to his independence, impartiality and competence within one (1) day from such appointment.

48. Challenge to mediator

48.1 Any mediator appointed by Sama may be challenged by either parties if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to the mediator’s impartiality or independence, or if the mediator becomes de jure or de facto unable to fulfil their functions or is not fulfilling those functions in accordance with the Sama Rules or within the prescribed time limits.

48.2 Such challenge to the mediator must be made within three (3) days of the declaration(s) being made by the mediator as per Rule [47.2.] (“Mediator Challenge Period”) and must provide for the grounds of challenge and should be submitted to the DRP Review Committee in writing via email to info@sama.live and shall be sent vide Sama ODR Platform to the other parties. If no party raises a challenge to the mediator within the above mentioned timeline, then the mediator would be considered to be appointed under Sama Rules.

48.3 When a mediator is challenged by any party, within three (3) days from the receipt of such challenge:

(a) the other parties may agree to such challenge and may mutually request for any other DRP to act as the mediator from the Panel;

(b) the other parties may agree to such challenge but may be unable to mutually agree on a new mediator as per Rule 48.3.(a) above, in which case either one or all parties to mediation can request for a specific mediator from the Panel and the final discretion of the mediator appointment shall lie with Sama;

(c) the challenged mediator may also choose to voluntarily withdraw as a mediator from such mediation, in which case Sama will appoint a new mediator from the Panel.

Provided that in none of the situations mentioned in Rule 48.3., the change of mediator should be deemed to be acceptance of any ground of challenge to the mediator raised by any party.

48.4 Upon challenge to a mediator by any party, in case none of the events provided in Rule 48.3. occur within three (3) days from the receipt of challenge of mediator by Sama, Sama shall refer such challenge to the DRP Review Committee.

48.5 Within three (3) days from the reference of such challenge to the DRP Review Committee, the DRP Review Committee may:

(a) decide to continue with the same mediator, in case it finds no merit in such challenge; or

(b) decide to change the mediator, in which case it shall appoint a new mediator from the Panel.

48.6 The decision of the DRP Review Committee shall be final and binding on all parties to mediation. The conciliator would be considered as appointed the day DRP Review Committee decides such challenge to conciliator.

48.7 In case of death of the appointed mediator or due to impossibility for such appointed mediator to act, Sama shall have the sole discretion to appoint a new mediator from the Panel and such newly appointed mediator, as far as mediation proceedings have taken place, will continue proceedings from thereon and any action taken prior to such replacement will not be affected.

49. Statements before mediator

49.1 The Mediation Pleading Date shall be deemed to occur on the day on which conciliator(s) may have received notice in writing of their appointment by Sama after disposal of the challenge to their appointment, if any, made or upon expiry of Mediator Challenge Period.

49.2 After the appointment of the mediator, within five (5) days from the Mediation Pleading Date, both Parties shall make their brief written statements indicating the nature of the dispute and points of settlement, which will be shared with each party through the Sama ODR Platform.

49.3 The mediator may require the parties to furnish supplementary and additional information with the documents available in support of them, as it deems fit and may make such submitted information / documents available to the other Party.

49.4 In case both the parties agree mutually, they may present their joint statement/stands/terms and conditions agreed upon and the same shall be taken on record by the mediator for her/his due consideration during mediation proceedings.

50. Role of mediator

50.1 The mediator shall:

(a) assist the parties in an impartial and independent manner to arrive at a mutually accepted resolution of the dispute in a time bound manner;

(b) assist the Parties to negotiate and to identify and define the issues in dispute;

(c) consider and be guided by the principles of natural justice related to the objective, attainment of justice and fairness, the rights and responsibilities of the parties, the prevailing business practices and beliefs, the business practices existed in the past among the parties, the suggestions submitted by the parties and the circumstances surrounding;

(d) hold meetings with the parties to the dispute, either jointly or separately, and keep the confidential information with herself/himself, if requested by any party.

(e) communicate the details of all meetings, documents presented and suggestions provide by the mediation to all the parties, except when the parties have expressly requested to keep such meeting or documents confidential.

(f) not be bound by the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

50.2 The mediator, either on the basis of her own satisfaction or upon confirmation by the Case Manager, may verify the correctness and genuineness of the statement submitted by both the parties on Sama ODR Platform.

51. Cooperation of parties with mediator

51.1. The parties shall in good faith to cooperate with the mediator and, in particular, shall endeavour to comply with requests by the mediator to submit written materials, provide evidence and attend meetings.

51.2. Each party may, on his own initiative or at the invitation of the mediator, submit to the mediator suggestions for the settlement of the dispute.

52. Mediation Agreement

52.1. When it appears to the mediator that there exist elements of a settlement which may be acceptable to the parties, such mediator shall formulate the terms of a possible settlement and submit them to the parties on Sama ODR Platform for their observations.

52.2. If the parties reach an agreement on the settlement of dispute during the mediation proceedings under Sama Rules, the parties may draw up and sign a Mediation Agreement on the Sama ODR Platform.

52.3. If requested by the parties, the mediator may draw up, or assist the parties in drawing up the Mediation Agreement within two (2) days from the receipt of such request, basis the suggestions of the parties.

52.4. Each party should give their observations to the mediator within two (2) days from the receipt of the possible settlement by the mediator, basis which the mediator may reformulate the terms of a possible settlement in the light of such observations. After the consideration of both the parties to the settlement proposed by the mediator and after the amendments being accepted or rejected by the parties themselves, the final settlement terms will be documented by the conciliator in the Mediation Agreement and shared with the parties within two days from the receipt of such observations by the parties, if any.

52.5. The parties may sign the Mediation Agreement within two (2) days from the receipt of the Mediation Agreement. Once the parties (or their authorized representative) to the dispute have signed the Mediation Agreement and after consideration and verification of the Mediation Agreement, the mediator shall sign the Mediation Agreement on the Sama ODR Platform within two (2) days from the date of the signature by the parties.  

52.6. The Mediation Agreement which is signed by the parties to the dispute and the mediator shall be final and binding on the parties.

52.7. The mediator shall authenticate the Mediation Agreement and furnish a copy of the same to each of the parties through Sama ODR Platform.

52.8. Unless decided otherwise by the parties, no mediation proceedings under Sama Rules shall exceed beyond a period of 30 days from the date of commencement of mediation proceedings.

52.9. The Mediation Agreement signed by all the parties to the dispute and the mediator will have the same effect and status as the Arbitral Award passed under Rule [24].

53. Termination of Mediation

53.1 All mediation proceeding under Sama Rules shall be deemed to be terminated in case:

(a) all parties to the dispute and the mediator sign/counter sign the Mediation Agreement;

(b) the mediator makes a written declaration that the efforts towards mediation is not just and meaningful;

(c) both parties address the mediator in writing to announce that mediation proceedings are now concluded.

(d) The day one party makes a written declaration to the other party and the mediator, if appointed, that mediation proceedings are concluded.

53.2 If there is also a provision for settlement of the dispute through arbitration under Sama Rules in case of failure of mediation under the Sama Mediation Clause, then upon conclusion of mediation proceeding under Rule [53.1.(c) or (d)], the dispute will be referred to arbitration under Sama Rules.

53.3 Under disputes referred to arbitration under Rule [53.2.] above, the mediator who presided over the mediation proceedings between the parties shall not act as arbitrator, Case Manager or legal representative of either party. The mediator shall also not be presented by the parties as a witness in any arbitral or judicial proceedings.

53.4 Post conclusion of the mediation proceedings as provided in this Rule, the mediator will immediately inform the Case Manager, who will further inform the parties in this regard.

54. No commencement of Arbitration proceedings or judicial proceedings 

54.1 No party shall, during mediation proceedings, conduct any arbitration proceeding or any kind of judicial proceeding in respect of the dispute that is the subject matter of mediation proceedings unless either party considers that commencement of such arbitral or judicial proceedings are necessary for the protection/preservation of their respective rights or interests.

55. Admissibility of Mediation proceedings in other proceedings

55.1 Parties in any arbitration or judicial proceeding (whether or not related to a dispute involving that mediation proceeding under Sama Rules) shall not present as evidence nor rely on the facts of the mediation proceeding being conducted under Sama Rules, including:

(a) suggestions and views expressed by the other party for possible resolution of the dispute on Sama ODR Platform;

(b) any admission/acceptance (except Mediation Agreement) made by the other party in the course of mediation proceedings under Sama Rules;

(c) any proposals made by the mediator to either party;

(d) willingness expressed by the other party in accepting any proposal made by the mediator.

56. Representation and Assistance

56.1 Each party may participate on their own or through a person authorized by such party to take final and conclusive decisions during mediation proceedings under Sama Rules at every stage, whether or not such person is legally trained, provided that there is no threat, or fear forced upon such representative.

56.2 The mediator may, in exercise of his discretion, refuse to allow such person to participate in the mediation proceedings which may affect the credibility of mediation proceedings under Sama Rules.

56.3 The concerned party shall inform the Case Manager, the mediator and the other party of such representative as mentioned in Rule [56.1.] at least 3 working days before the commencement of the proceedings.

57. Date of Commencement of Mediation Proceedings

57.1. The mediation proceeding shall be deemed to have entered on the reference on the day on which mediators or all the mediators, as the case may be have received notice in writing of their appointment by Sama Administration after disposal of the challenge to their appointment, if any, made.

Part V: Miscellaneous Provisions

58. Stamp Duty

58.1 The parties to any proceedings under Sama Rules shall bear the cost of stamp duty applicable to any award, agreement or order.

58.2 Deficient stamp duties, if any, are to be paid by the parties to any proceedings under Sama Rules in equal share in all cases in accordance with the applicable rate of stamp duties for the time being in force. In case of an ex-parte Award under Part II of the Sama Rules, the entire stamp duty shall be paid by the Claimant in accordance with the applicable rate of stamp duty.

59. Protection against any act done in good faith

59.1 No suit or other legal proceeding shall be taken against the arbitrator, conciliator, mediator, Case Manager, Sama or any officer, employee, director or agent of Sama in relation to any act and proceeding done in good faith under the Sama Rules.

59.2 Sama, arbitrator, mediator, conciliator, Case Manager or any officer, employee, director or agent of Sama shall not be made a party to any proceedings, appeal or application to set aside the Award, Conciliation Agreement or Mediation Agreement.

60. Maintenance of data and records by Sama

60.1 Sama shall keep the data of the parties to any proceeding under Sama Rules in its systems and records shall be kept in the system in such a manner that the identity of the parties or any circumstances of dispute cannot be identified.

60.2 Unless agreed otherwise between Sama and any party to the proceeding under Sama Rules, Sama shall maintain the data of all proceedings under Sama Rules for a period of [four] years from the date of issuance of the Award, Settlement Agreement or Mediation Agreement.

60.3 In case any such Award, Settlement Agreement or Mediation is appealed or application has been filed to set aside, the party making such appeal/application shall promptly notify Sama and Sama shall maintain the data and records of all such proceedings till the disposal of such proceedings, unless agreed otherwise between Sama and any party to the proceeding under Sama Rules.

60.4 Sama may erase all the data and records pertaining to any proceedings under Sama Rules after the expiry of the time period as specified above in this Rule.

61. Confidentiality

61.1 Sama, the DRPs and the parties shall not disclose the details of any proceedings under Sama Rules and shall keep confidential all matters relating to such proceedings (including the Award, Conciliation Agreement or Mediation Agreement (as applicable), except in case where it is required to be disclosed to them).

61.2 Sama, DRP and the parties to proceedings under Sama Rules shall comply with all applicable laws in relation to confidentiality, including section 42A of the Arbitration Act.

62. Monitoring of proceedings

62.1 DRP Review Committee may periodically examine and evaluate any proceedings under Sama Rules and case files on Sama ODR Platform to ensure that the timelines prescribed under Sama Rules are not extended without any justifiable reasons.

63. Exclusion of liability

63.1 All parties to proceedings under Sama Rules hereby jointly and severally exempt Sama from any liability arising from DRP Review Committee, agent, employee under Sama Rules or any other law in course of discharge of their duties and rights exercised in good faith and no action shall be initiated against them.

64. Language

64.1 The language of all proceedings under Sama Rules shall be in English.

64.2 In case both parties to any proceeding under Sama Rules request for the proceedings be conducted in any other Indian language other than English, then Sama may solely decide the language of such proceeding under Sama Rules.

64.3 If any document filed by any party is in a language other than English, the party filling such document shall simultaneously furnish an English translation of such documents.

65. Procuring a verified copy

65.1 Any party to a proceeding under Sama Rules who may require a verified copy of the Award, Mediation Agreement or Conciliation Agreement (pursuant to an order of the court or otherwise) shall provide a request for the same at info@sama.live and  make the payment of a fee according to Annexure IV to obtain a verified copy.

66. Amendment to Sama Rules

66.1 Sama shall have the sole right to make any amendments in Sama Rules, its schedules, fees etc., as it deems fit and necessary and such amendments shall be effective prospectively from the date of a communication notifying such amendment.

67. Working Hours

67.1 The parties may upload their Pleadings on Sama ODR Platform at any time prior to the last date of any specified event, as prescribed under Sama Rules. However, on the due date fixed for hearing in advance, the pleadings/ evidences/ documents/ applications can be uploaded latest by 12 noon one day before the hearing and only the uploaded by this time will be considered by the DRP for that day’s proceedings.

68. Notices and communication

68.1 For the purposes of the Sama Rules, any notice, communication or proposal shall be through electronic communication. Electronic communication through Sama can be serviced through any one of the following means/ modes of electronic communication:

(a) at the last known email address mentioned in the agreement between the parties or as mentioned in other communications stated by the party;

(b) by text message on the registered mobile phone number mentioned in the agreement between the parties or as mentioned in other communications stated by the party;

(c) by any messaging applications (such as WhatsApp message) on the registered/verified mobile phone number/email id mentioned in the agreement between the parties or as mentioned in other communications stated by the party;

68.2 On completion of any one of the following conditions, service/delivery of electronic communications will be considered successful:

(a) the e-mail described and sent as per Rule 68.1(a) has not 'bounced back';

(b) The message sent as per Rule 68.1(b) has not received a failure of delivery notification;

(c) The message sent as per Rule 68.1(c), it should be considered delivered by such messaging application.

68.3 In situations when either party has not logged on to the Sama ODR Platform, the Case Manager will call such party’s registered mobile number provided while registering on Sama ODR Platform to inform the party that the proceedings under Sama Rules have been initiated. On making such voice call by Case Manager, the service would be deemed to be completed in case:

(a) the call is completed with the party, necessary details have been shared with them, and if during the conversation she has not denied being the party to the dispute; or

(b) if the party has rejected the call.

68.4 All communications and exchange of documents during any proceedings under Sama Rules shall be done through the Sama ODR Platform by the parties or their Legal Representatives.

68.5 In certain cases, where parties have made case relevant communication through email, WhatsApp or text messages with the Case Manager and want the communication to be uploaded on the Sama ODR Platform for the other party or DRP to view, the communicating party may request the Case Manager to upload the same in the 'Case Update' section of the Sama ODR Platform and the DRP may consider such communication uploaded while exercising their discretion.

68.6 The Case Manager will only upload any communication after being duly satisfied that the communication has been received from the registered/verified email or mobile number of the parties.

69. Waiver of the right to object

69.1 Any party who proceeds with the proceedings under Sama Rules with the knowledge that any provision or requirement of these Sama Rules has not been complied with, yet fails to state his objection thereto in writing, shall be deemed to have waived their right to object.

70. Fees

70.1 The parties shall be jointly and severally, unless agreed otherwise by the parties, be liable to pay the fees in relation to the proceedings under Sama Rules as stated in Annexure IV of Sama Rules along with any additional cost incurred during such proceedings and as intimated by Sama to the parties.

71. Succession

71.1 In a situation, where Sama ceases to exist (for any reason whatsoever), the parties shall be at liberty to choose a new institution for their dispute resolution mechanism.

71.2 In such case, if the parties fail to agree on a new institution, either party may choose to initiate proceedings for dispute resolution before any institution providing such dispute resolution service as provide in the list of arbitral institutions provide by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India  (as available at: https://doj.gov.in/sites/default/files/firm%20details.pdf) or any arbitral tribunal designated by the High Court and Supreme Court (graded by the Arbitral Council of India or otherwise), and shall communicate the same to the other party(ies).

71.3 Such choice of institution made by either party who makes that choice first shall be final and binding on all the parties which were subject to dispute resolution mechanism under Sama Rules.

72. Sama ODR Platform

72.1 The Sama ODR Platform shall facilitate the proceedings under Sama ODR Platform and associated administrative services which includes sending Pre-Arbitration Notices, filing cases, appointment of arbitrator, mediator and conciliator, uploading documents, communication through video conferencing and chat, settlement/award builder, e-signature, e-stamping and all the services required till the passing of the Award, reaching a Mediation Agreement/Conciliation Agreement or until termination of proceedings.

72.2 All parties to any proceedings under Sama Rules shall register themselves on Sama ODR Platform, in a form and manner as prescribed on the Sama ODR Platform.

73. Jurisdiction

73.1 Any objection by a party to the existence or, to the competence of Sama to administer an arbitration, before the Arbitral Tribunal is appointed, shall be placed in the first instance before the DRP Review Committee.

73.2 If the DRP Review Committee sustains the objection, the arbitration proceedings shall be terminated. In all other cases, the Arbitral Tribunal shall decide such objection in accordance with section 16 of the Arbitration Act.