Rules & Procedures

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:

FOREWARD

 

Today, the barriers between India and the rest of the world have been broken, thanks to technology. E- market place and digital mode of payment are a reality. This requires consumers to have an avenue that allows them to avail swift and easily accessible case resolution. Here, Sama plays a role.

 

Sama’s vision is to align technology and law to offer ease of access and quality case resolution to its users. To use Sama and its services, users simply have to connect from their home or workplace to the Sama website to avail its case resolution services.

 

With its team of trained, knowledgeable and skilled team of dispute resolution professionals and case managers, Sama offers indicative clauses, supporting governance and case management for appropriate case resolution through conciliation mediation and arbitration, at the option of the parties, in combination or as a single unified process, with the objective of a conclusive, final and binding outcome.

 

In line with the purpose outlined above, Sama has developed the Sama Dispute Resolution Rules with the intent of offering parties the widest choice and the capacity to adopt fully administered arbitration, conciliation and facilitated negotiation procedures that are flexible, fair, efficient and cost effective.

 

ABOUT THE CASE RESOLUTION PROCESSES

 

Sama and its dispute resolution professionals offer the following processes to resolve your case:

 

Conciliation is an informal procedure in which a neutral intermediary / third party, who is the conciliator, assists and facilitates parties to a case in resolving their case through dialogue and communication to reach a settlement. At the option of the parties, the conciliator may also make recommendations for determining certain terms of settlement. (Depending on parties’ choice, in the absence of a settlement, conciliation maybe preceded or followed by arbitration or mediation)

 

Arbitration is a process where the parties submit to resolving a case through adjudication and determination by one or more impartial and skilled arbitrators who make a final and binding decision on the dispute. (Depending on parties’ choice, arbitration maybe be preceded or followed by conciliation or facilitated negotiation.)

 

Mediation is a process in which the parties to a case, utilise the assistance of a neutral dispute resolution practitioner (the mediator / facilitator), to collaboratively negotiate the outcome. The facilitator has no advisory or determinative role on the content of the matters discussed or the outcome of the process. (Depending on parties’ choice, mediation can be preceded or followed by arbitration or conciliation)

 

In administering any cases referred to Sama, Sama offers assistance to the parties in selecting and appointing a resolution expert, with support from its database of more than 100 dispute resolution professionals and its effective and efficient Case Management Framework. For more information on processes and general enquiries please refer to  <www.sama.live>.

 

 

ABBREVIATIONS

 

Arbitration Notification shall mean the Sama case reference email that will be sent by Sama upon reference of a case to arbitration under the Sama Dispute resolution clause or otherwise by a party under a valid dispute resolution clause.

 

Business Days shall mean a day of the week other than Sunday or any official holiday or non-business day observed by Sama.

 

Case Managers (‘CM’) shall mean the case managers appointed by Sama to offer and support administrative and secretarial services to the DRPs.

 

Case Management Framework shall mean the case management manual and conduct regulations that are to be adhered to by the CM’s while assisting the Party(ies)

 

Conciliation Notification shall mean the Sama case reference email that will be sent by Sama upon reference of a case to conciliation under the Sama Dispute resolution clause or otherwise by a party under a valid dispute resolution clause.

 

Court shall have the meaning provided under Section 2(e) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (as amended from time to time)

 

Dispute Resolution Professional (‘DRP’) shall mean any person appointed by Sama as an impartial or a neutral expert to render and administer case resolution services.  Any person who is engaged by Sama as a DRP has a detailed profile available on the Sama website <www.sama.live>

 

DRP Review Committee shall mean the review committee comprising of experts who will determine any queries or issues related to Sama Dispute Resolution Rules including but not limited to relating to conflict, replacement or recusal of the DRP appointment for a case referred to Sama.

 

Fast Track Arbitration shall mean an arbitration proceeding where Parties confirm that the arbitration process shall be conducted only through written submissions of documentation, pleadings, evidence and arguments and without any oral hearings through the Sama platform.

 

Invitation to Arbitrate shall mean the individual reference to arbitration by a party or all parties to an existing or potential dispute through a pre-existing contractual clause or by the joint acceptance of the Sama Terms and Conditions

 

Invitation to Conciliate shall mean the individual reference to conciliation by a party to an existing or potential dispute through a pre-existing contractual clause or by the joint acceptance of the Sama Terms and Conditions

 

Mediation Notification shall mean the Sama case reference email that will be sent by Sama upon reference of a case to mediation under the Sama Dispute resolution clause or otherwise by a party under a valid dispute resolution clause.

Party(ies) shall mean party representatives, legal counsels, experts and any other persons appointed by a party to the case to assist in the case resolution process.

 

Pre-Arbitration Call shall mean the initial call with the CM to brief parties and/or legal representatives in relation to the arbitration process for the dispute and the appointment of the DRP.

 

Pre-Conciliation Call shall mean the initial call with the CM to brief parties and/or legal representatives in relation to the conciliation process for the dispute and the appointment of the DRP.

 

Pre-Mediation Call shall mean the initial call with the CM to brief parties and/or legal representatives in relation to the mediation process for the dispute and the appointment of the DRP.

 

Sama Arbitration Rules shall mean the rules and guidelines governing the process of conciliation initiated, pursued and completed using the Sama platform.

 

Sama Code of Conduct shall mean the code of ethics and conduct that the DRPs shall abide for the duration of the case resolution process.

 

Sama Conciliation Rules shall mean the rules and guidelines governing the process of conciliationinitiated, pursued and completed using the Sama platform.

 

Sama Dispute Resolution Clause shall mean the pre-existing dispute resolution clause contained in a contract or agreement or a subsequent agreement between Parties to refer a case to Sama under the Sama Dispute Resolution Rules.

 

Sama Dispute Resolution Rules shall mean the Sama Rules of Arbitration, Sama Rules of Conciliation and Sama Rules of Mediation read together with the Sama Code of Conduct and any guidelines, frameworks and manuals that are issued by Sama, as amended from time to time.

 

Sama Mediation Rules shall mean the rules and guidelines governing the process of mediation initiated, pursued and completed using the Sama platform.

 

Sama Terms and Conditions shall mean the reference agreement to resolve the case using the services of Sama and the DRPs containing Terms of Use (available here) and  Privacy Policy (available here).

 

 

SAMA CONCILIATION RULES

 

  1. Commencement
  1. Parties can under a pre-existing contract containing a Sama Dispute Resolution Clause or through a joint application by accepting the Sama Terms and Conditions, approach Sama to commence a case conciliation process. Conciliation proceedings under the Sama Conciliation Rules shall commence when all Parties to the case accept the Sama Terms and Conditions.

 

  1. In the event one Party in a pre-existing or a potential dispute approaches Sama to resolve the case through conciliation, Sama upon the request will send an Invitation to Conciliate to the other party. If the Invitation to Conciliate is accepted, the parties are required to agree to the Sama Terms and Conditions to commence the conciliation process.

 

  1. Case Manager Assignment.
  1. Within 24 hours of the reference of a conciliation process to Sama by one of the Parties to the dispute, Sama shall send the Conciliation Notification, which lists out the details of the CM and the particulars of the Pre-Conciliation Call to offer a brief overview of the process, how to use the Sama platform and answer any preliminary queries that the parties may have. The Pre-Conciliation Call shall occur within 5 Business Days of the Conciliation Notification, based on the availability and option of the Parties.

 

  1. The CM shall be available for any administrative, secretarial and Sama related queries that the Parties may have for the duration of the case.

 

  1. The CM will inform the parties of important dates relating to the submission of the conciliators brief, the appointment of the conciliator and shall assist the parties in arriving at a first date to commence the conciliation process. The CM shall also provide the duly signed conflict of interest agreement by the conciliator appointed.

 

  1. Appointment of Conciliators.
  1. There shall be one conciliator appointed by Sama, unless (i) the conciliator appointed requests a co-conciliation based on a perusal of the case or (ii) owing to the complexity of the case Sama is of the opinion that a co-conciliation is necessary.

 

  1. Based on the case requirements, Sama has sole discretion in assignment of a case to a DRP. Parties are free to make a request for a conciliator who is a part of the DRPs, however, the final assignment decision shall be with Sama.

 

  1. In the Conciliation Notification, Sama shall provide a disclosure agreement, outline any or no prior professional or personal engagement or affiliation between the parties and the DRPs. Parties may raise any substantial conflict concerns against the conciliator identified and appointed as DRP for the case within 24 hours of the Pre-Conciliation Call. Only if a substantial conflict issue (as defined under the Sama Code of Conduct) is raised, will a change in DRP be entertained.

 

  1. Submission of Conciliators Brief.
  1. A conciliators brief is a written statement describing the general nature of the dispute and the points at issue in the case. A conciliators brief shall not be more than 4 pages (including any footnotes and end notes). Relevant supporting, supplementary and ancillary documentation may be submitted along with the conciliators brief. The conciliators brief shall be submitted within 5 Business Days of the all the Parties accepting Sama Terms and Conditions.

 

  1. Parties have the right to submit a “for the conciliators eye only” brief. Any such documentation must be marked clearly and submitted separately to the conciliator. The conciliator shall not share information that is received and marked as “conciliators eye only”.

 

  1. The conciliator may request each Party to submit a further written statement of his position and the facts and grounds in support thereof, supplement by any documents and other evidence that such part deemed appropriate. Unless otherwise marked as “conciliators eye only”, all additional documentation shall be shared with all Parties.

 

  1. In case of a co-conciliation, Parties are required to send the conciliators brief and its related documentation to all appointed conciliators.

 

  1. Communications
  1. Until the CM is assigned, all communications relating to the process must be directed to <info@Sama.live>. Thereafter, all communications should be in accordance with the procedure as informed by the CM in the Pre-Conciliation Call.

 

  1. Any application, agreement, request, instruction, direction, response, notice, or other communication required or referred to in these rules, must be made in writing through the Sama platform .

 

  1. Unless marked as ‘conciliators eye only’, all notifications, documents, or information provided to the conciliator by a Party must be simultaneously be communicated by the disclosing party to every other party to the case.

 

  1. Role of a Conciliator.
  1. The conciliator shall assist the Parties in an independent and impartial manner in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute.

 

  1. The conciliator shall be guided by principles of objectivity, fairness and justice, giving consideration to, among other things, the rights and obligations of the parties, the usages of the trade concerned and the circumstances surrounding the dispute, including any previous business practices between the Parties.

 

  1. The conciliator may conduct the conciliation proceedings in such a manner as he considers appropriate, taking into account the circumstances of the case, the wishes the parties may express, including any request by a Party that the conciliator hear oral statements, and the need for a speedy settlement of the dispute.

 

  1. The conciliator may, at any stage of the conciliation proceedings, make proposals for a settlement of the dispute. Such proposals need not be in writing and need not be accompanied by a statement of the reasons therefore.

 

  1. Confidentiality
  1. All parties are required to sign the Sama Terms and Conditions which outlines the confidentiality and privacy requirements relating to all information being shared during any case resolution process. The general terms of use can also be referred to on the Sama website at: <www.sama.live>

 

  1. No recording of any kind shall be made of any meetings of the parties with the conciliator.

 

  1. Each person involved in the conciliation, including, in particular, the conciliator the parties and their representatives and advisors, any independent experts and any other persons present during the meetings of the parties with the conciliator, shall respect the confidentiality of the conciliation and may not, unless otherwise agreed by the parties and the conciliator, use or disclose to any outside party any information concerning, or obtained in the course of the conciliation.

 

  1. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, each person involved in the conciliation shall, on the conclusion of the conciliation, as per these rules, return, to the party providing it, any brief, document or other materials supplied by a Party, without retaining any copy of such materials. Any notes taken by a person concerning the meetings of the Parties with the conciliator shall be destroyed upon the conclusion of the conciliation.

 

  1. Evidence and Admissibility.
  1. The Parties shall not rely on or introduce as evidence in arbitral or judicial proceedings, whether or not such proceedings relate to the dispute that is the subject of the conciliation proceedings,
    1. views expressed or suggestions made by a Party in respect of a possible settlement of the dispute;
    2. admissions made by a Party in the course of the conciliation proceedings;
    3. proposals made by the conciliator; and
    4. the fact that the other party had indicated his willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by the conciliator.

 

  1. The conciliator shall not be presented by the parties as a witness in any arbitral or judicial proceedings.

 

  1. Disclosure of Information.

When the conciliator receives factual information concerning the dispute from a Party, he shall disclose the substance of that information to the other Parties in order that the other party may have the opportunity to present any explanation which he considers appropriate:

 

Provided that when a Party gives any information to the conciliator subject to a specific condition that such information is to be ‘for the conciliators eyes only’, the conciliator shall not disclose that information to the other party. Any disclosure during the process shall be made with the express oral consent of the disclosing party.

 

  1. Settlement Agreement and Conciliators Award.
  1. When the Parties reach and sign the settlement agreement, it shall be final and binding on the Parties in the manner of a valid binding contract.

 

  1. The conciliator shall authenticate the settlement agreement and furnish a copy thereof to each of the Parties.

 

  1. The settlement agreement shall have the same status and effect as if it is an arbitral award on agreed terms on the substance of the dispute rendered by an arbitrator under section 30 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

 

  1. Appointment of Experts.

During the conciliation processes, the conciliator and/or the parties are free to call upon any experts with technical or area specific knowledge. Any costs of appointing experts shall be borne equally by both parties or by the party appointing such an expert.

 

  1. Conclusion, Suspension and Termination.
  1. The conciliation shall be considered completed or concluded:
    1. by the signing of a settlement agreement by the parties covering any or all of the issues in dispute between the parties;
    2. by the option of the conciliator if, further efforts at conciliation are unlikely to lead to a resolution of the dispute; or
    3. by a written declaration of a party at any time after a first discussion of the parties with the conciliation.

 

  1. Upon the conclusion of the conciliation, the conciliator shall promptly send to the CM a notice in writing that the conciliation is terminated and shall indicate the date on which it has concluded, whether or not the conciliation resulted in a settlement of the dispute and, if so, whether the settlement was full or partial. The conciliator shall inform the parties regarding such a requirement and reinforce the confidentiality terms.

 

  1. Sama shall keep the said notice of the conciliator confidential and shall not, without the written authorisation of the parties, disclose either the existence or the result of the conciliation to any person.

 

  1. Sama may, however, include information concerning the conciliation in any aggregate statistical data that it publishes concerning its activities, provided that such information does not reveal the identity of the parties or enable the particular circumstances of the dispute to be identified.

 

  1. In the event that the conciliation is inconclusive owing to parties or the conciliator being of the opinion that the process is not appropriate for the case, Parties have a choice to refer the case to arbitration under the Sama Arbitration Rules. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the conciliator shall not act as an arbitrator or as a representative or counsel of a Party in any arbitral or judicial proceeding in respect of a dispute that is the subject of the conciliation proceedings

 

  1. Language

The conciliation process shall be conducted in English. At the option of the conciliator and/or with the mutual consent of all Parties to the conciliation process, a translator maybe appointed as an expert to assist in the conciliation process. The Parties shall bear equal costs of appointing an expert translator.

 

  1. Judicial Intervention.

The Parties shall not initiate, during the conciliation proceedings, any arbitral or judicial proceedings in respect of a dispute that is the subject-matter of the conciliation proceedings.

 

  1. Representation and Support.
  1. Each Party must be represented at all conferences and conciliation sessions by a person with authority to make final and conclusive decisions.

 

  1. Parties may be represented at conciliation by any person, whether legally trained or not, provided that the engagement of a representative by a Party does not threaten or bring into question the integrity of the conciliation due to a past or present relationship with any party or the conciliator, unless none of the parties object after proper disclosure.

 

  1. Parties must advise the CM, the conciliator and every other party of the names and relevant details of those persons who will be accompanying them at any conciliation session not less than 3 Business Days prior to the session. All additional persons will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement that forms a part of the Sama Terms and Conditions as a condition of their attendance at the conciliation.

 

  1. The Conciliator may withhold approval for an additional representative or support person to attend the conciliation where the conciliator, in his or her sole discretion, considers their attendance could threaten or bring into question the integrity of the conciliation.

 

  1. Fees
  1. The Parties must pay Sama the relevant fees as informed and detailed at the Pre-Conciliation Call.

 

  1. Parties are jointly and severally liable for the fees and expenses of the conciliation, together with any additional costs howsoever incurred by Sama in recovering any overdue monies, on a full indemnity basis.

 

  1. Costs

Costs shall be borne equally by all parties unless the settlement agreement or a pre-existing arrangement informed to the CM prior to the commencement of the conciliation agreement states otherwise.

 

  1. Exclusion of Liability.
  1. Parties, together and separately, release and discharge the members of the DRP and Sama, its agents and employees, from any liability which may be alleged to arise in connection with, or to result from, or to in any way relate to the exercise of any of their functions, duties or powers, whether under the procedural law of the conciliation, under these rules, or otherwise, unless the act or omission is the fraudulent act of the conciliator, Sama, its agents or its employees. Any DRP, Sama or any agent or employee of Sama who has not acted fraudulently and is shown to be unaware of the fraud of any other person, will continue to be released and discharged from liability as provided in these r

 

  1. No statements or comments, whether written or oral, made or used by the conciliator, Sama, its agents or employees, in connection with, or resulting from, or in any way relating to the conciliation process, may be relied upon to found or maintain any action for defamation, libel, slander, or any related complaint.

 

 

SAMA ARBITRATION RULES

 

  1. Invitation to Arbitrate.
  1. Party(ies) under a pre-existing contract containing a Sama Dispute Resolution Clause or through the joint submission of the Sama Terms and Conditions, approach Sama to commence a case arbitration process.

 

  1. The initiating party(ies) (“Claimant”) shall submit an Invitation to Arbitrate through the Sama website<insert hyperlink> or a pre-agreed procedure of reference. The Invitation to Arbitration shall contain: (i) a clause that states that the dispute is referred to arbitration under the Sama Arbitration Rules, (ii) the names, addresses, email, telephone and other communication references of the parties, (iii) details of the identified representatives of the Claimant, (iv) the arbitration clause or agreement that has been relied upon by the party, (v) general nature of the claim and where the claim is or can be quantified in terms of money, the amount of the claim, and (vi) the remedy or relief sought.

 

  1. The Claimant shall transmit the Invitation to Arbitrate to all other Parties to the dispute (“Respondent(s)”) in parallel to its submission to Sama.

 

  1. The Respondent(s) will be required to acknowledge the Notification of the Invitation to Arbitrate within 5 days of the Arbitration Notification sent by Sama.

 

  1. The date of commencement of arbitration will be the date on which the Invitation to Arbitrate is received by Sama (“Date of Commencement”).

 

  1. An Invitation to Arbitrate may also be accompanied by a Statement of Claim (Rule 4)

 

  1. Case Manager Assignment.
  1. On the date of the Notification of the Invitation to Arbitrate, Sama shall appoint a CM and send an email notification to all concerned parties of the Notification of the Invitation to Arbitrate and particulars such as the date of commencement of arbitration (“Arbitration Notification”). The CM shall also inform the parties of a Pre-Arbitration Call, which will include a briefing of all the particulars and details of the arbitration process with Sama.

 

  1. The Pre-Arbitration Call and details will be completed within 5 Business Days for the Date of Commencement.

 

  1. At the Pre-Arbitration Call, each Party shall inform the CM (and provide in writing), the names and contact information of their representatives for the arbitration proceedings along with the capacity in which they will act. Each Party shall ensure that representatives and legal counsels have sufficient time and are available to enable the arbitration to proceed expeditiously.

 

  1. At the Pre-Arbitration Call, parties will be informed of the dates of written submissions and documentations and the particulars of the assigned arbitrator.

 

  1. Should the Arbitration Notification not be answered within 5 Business Days of the process, the Sama ex-parte process shall be initiated as per the procedure outlined under these rules.

 

  1. At the Pre-Arbitration Call, the Respondents must declare whether they wish to file a counter claim or not. Timelines for submissions of written statements and evidence shall appropriately be determined.

 

  1. Appointment of Arbitrator.
  1. Unless otherwise agreed upon by the Parties, the arbitration process shall be conducted by a sole arbitrator. Based on the case requirements, Sama has sole discretion in assignment of a case to a DRP. Parties are free to make a request for a arbitrator who is a part of the DRPs, however, the final decision relating to assignment shall be with Sama.

 

  1. At the Pre-Arbitration Call, Parties shall be informed of their arbitrator (including his qualifications and contact information) and also be provided a disclosure agreement which will be in line with the Fifth and Seventh Schedule of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (as amended from time to time by prevailing law) and the Sama Code of Conduct.

 

  1. Any challenge to the appointment of the arbitrator should be made within 24 hours of the Pre-Arbitration Call. In the absence of any such challenge, the Parties forfeit the right to make a challenge application at a later stage in the arbitration proceedings.

 

  1. Should a Party make a challenge to the appointed of the arbitrator by Sama, on the Pre Arbitration Call, detailed grounds identifying reasons for conflict needs to be provided by the Party. Sama, through its DRP Review Committee, will try to accommodate any change requests based on any substantial conflict challenge only as per the Sama Code of Conduct. DRP Review Committee decision of the arbitrator shall be informed to the Parties by Sama within 3 Business Days of the Pre-Arbitration Call. The decision of Sama in relation to the arbitrator shall be final. If a challenge to the appointment has been made after the Date of Commencement, any jurisdiction to determine such a challenge shall lie with the arbitrator appointed and will be considered as a part of the proceedings.

 

  1. The arbitrator who does not comply with the provisions of these rules and the Sama Code of Conduct may be replaced by, the DRP Review Committee through Sama, in consultation with the Parties. Where it is not appropriate to replace the arbitrator in order not to cause delay in the arbitral proceedings, Sama may also take such action after the conclusion of the arbitral proceedings, by refusing to appoint him in subsequent arbitral proceedings.

 

  1. Each arbitrator shall be impartial and independent.

 

  1. At the arbitrator’s own request, an arbitrator may be released from appointment as arbitrator either with the consent of the Parties or by Sama. Irrespective of any request by the arbitrator, the Parties, after informing the CM may jointly release the arbitrator from appointment as arbitrator.

 

  1. At the request of a Party or on its own motion, Sama may release an arbitrator from appointment as arbitrator if the arbitrator has become unable to fulfill, or fails to fulfill, the duties of an arbitrator.

 

  1. Whenever necessary a replacement arbitrator shall be appointed pursuant to the procedure provided for under these rules.

 

  1. Pending the replacement, the arbitral proceedings shall be suspended, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties.

 

  1. Whenever a replacement arbitrator is appointed, the arbitrator shall, having regard to any observations of the Parties, determine in its sole discretion whether all or part of any prior proceedings need to be repeated.

 

  1. Hearings and Written Proceedings.

a) For Parties

  1. The Claimant should file the statement of claim with all the information, documentation, and evidence within 15 days from the date of twenty (20) days from Invitation to Arbitrate. The full statement of claim and copies of documents relied upon, shall be filed through the Sama platform.

 

  1. The Respondent(s) should file his reply to the claim and/or counter claim with complete information and documents relied upon, as early as possible but within 20 days from the date of notification of the claim statement. In case of a counter claim, the Claimant has the right to file any replies within 5 Business Days for notification of such claim. If no filing has been done within the prescribed timeframe, the right to reply by the Claimant shall be considered forfeited.

 

  1. Fresh documentation/ claims should not be entertained at a later stage of the proceedings unless the arbitrator is satisfied about the reasons for granting such permission. All evidence and witness statements shall be filed within the period identified by the arbitrator.

  2. If any party to arbitration, seeks adjournment on any valid ground, it must submit a written request to the CM at least before 5 Business Days stating the grounds which compel it to request for postponement of the hearing so that the CM is in a position to take necessary steps to inform the parties, arbitrator(s) and Sama regarding postponement of the hearing. Parties seeking adjournment will have to pay cost to Sama as may be determined by the arbitrator. The validity of this adjournment is to be determined by the arbitrator and only communicated by the CM. The arbitrator may impose additional costs in relation to the adjournment.

 

  1. Parties should deposit arbitration and administrative fees with Sama as per the Pre-Arbitration Call and no extension should be sought in this behalf except for compelling reasons, as approved by Sama.

 

b) For the Arbitrator

  1. In the course of the arbitral proceedings, the arbitrator shall refrain from all unilateral contact with Parties. All communication shall be through the CM and the Sama platform.

 

  1. The arbitrator shall refrain from giving the parties, either directly or through their counsel, notice of decisions in the evidence taking place or on the merits; notice of these decisions may be given exclusively by the CM.

 

  1. If the Parties have opted for a Fast Track Arbitration, then the arbitrator upon notification of all documentation shall through the Sama platform, will review the documentation which would include all written arguments and pass necessary award within 15 Business Days of notification of all evidence and documentation.

 

  1. In case a Fast Track Arbitration is not opted for, the first hearing of the arbitrator should be convened within 5 Business Days of the Notification of the complete reply of the Respondent when the arbitrator may issue necessary directions. Admission and denial of the documents may be got done expeditiously. Issues if any to be framed, may be done at the same or at the next hearing. The arbitrators will make efforts to hold online arbitration hearings continuously on day-to-day basis per the schedule that is arrived at with consent of all parties and the CM. Only in exceptional circumstances, as determined by the arbitrator shall offline / in-person hearings be held.

 

  1. In case a Fast Track Arbitration is not opted for, the Parties should be asked to furnish a list of their witnesses, if any, in advance and they should be asked to file affidavits of witnesses on the date fixed for evidence preferably within a week of the settlement of issues/ the first hearing date. Cross examination of such of the deponent's witnesses whose presence is demanded by a Party should be completed at a hearing to be fixed within 5 Business Days.

 

  1. In case a Fast Track Arbitration is not opted for, adjournments of duly fixed hearing should not be granted except for unavoidable reasons which should be spelt out in the adjournment order. Arguments preferably should be heard within 15 Business Days of the completion of evidence, to be followed by submission of written arguments, if any. For parties that have opted for Fast Track Arbitration, arguments shall be made in the form of written submissions on pre-agreed dates that are made available to the CM and the arbitrator

 

  1. The Arbitrator should make the award expeditiously after the close of the hearings, preferably within 15 Business Days.

 

  1. The arbitrator shall declare the proceedings closed when it is satisfied that the parties have had adequate opportunity to present submissions and evidence.

 

  1. The arbitrator may, if it considers it necessary owing to exceptional circumstances, decide, on its own motion or upon application of a party, to re-open the proceedings it declared to be closed at any time before the award is made.

 

  1. Evidence
  1. Subject to these rules, the arbitrator may conduct its proceedings in the manner it considers appropriate.

 

  1. The power of the arbitrator under sub-rule (1) includes the power to determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of any evidence.

 

  1. At any time during the arbitration, the arbitrator may at the request of a party or on its own motion, order a party to produce such documents or other evidence as it considers necessary or appropriate and may order a party to make available to the tribunal or to an expert appointed by it or to the other party any property in its possession or control for inspection or testing.

 

  1. Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information.
  1. Except to the extent necessary in connection with a Court challenge to the arbitration or an action for enforcement of an award, no information concerning the existence of an arbitration may be unilaterally disclosed by a party to any third party unless it is required to do so by law or by a competent regulatory body, and then only:(i) by disclosing no more than what is legally required; and(ii) by furnishing to the arbitrator and to the other Party, if the disclosure takes place during the arbitration, or to the other Party alone, if the disclosure takes place after the termination of the arbitration, details of the disclosure and an explanation of the reason for it.

 

  1. Any documentary or other evidence given by a Party or a witness in the arbitration shall be treated as confidential and, to the extent that such evidence describes information that is not in the public domain, shall not be used or disclosed to any third party by a Party whose access to that information arises exclusively as a result of its participation in the arbitration for any purpose without the consent of the Parties or order of a court having jurisdiction.

 

  1. A witness called by a Party shall not be considered to be a third party. To the extent that a witness is given access to evidence or other information obtained in the arbitration in order to prepare the witness’s testimony, the Party calling such witness shall be responsible for the maintenance by the witness of the same degree of confidentiality as that is required of the Party.

 

  1. The award shall be treated as confidential by the Parties and may only be disclosed to a third party if and to the extent that: (i) the parties consent; or (ii) it falls into the public domain as a result of an action before a Court or other competent authority; or (iii) it must be disclosed in order to comply with a legal requirement imposed on a Party or in order to establish or protect a Party’s legal rights against a third party.

 

  1. Unless the Parties agree otherwise, Sama, the CM and the arbitrator shall maintain the confidentiality of the arbitration and, to the extent that they describe information that is not in the public domain, any documentary or other evidence dis-closed during the arbitration, except to the extent necessary in connection with a Court action relating to the award, or as otherwise required by law.

 

  1. Sama may include information concerning the arbitration in any aggregate statistical data that it publishes concerning its activities, provided that such information does not enable the Parties or the particular circumstances of the dispute to be identified.

 

  1. Settlement and Arbitral Awards.
  1. The arbitral award shall state the reasons upon which it is based, unless the parties have agreed that no reasons are to be given, or the award is an arbitral award on agreed and settled terms as per the Sama Mediation Rules or the Sama Conciliation Rules.

 

  1. If, during arbitral proceedings, the parties settle the dispute, in terms of Sama Conciliation Rules, the arbitrator shall terminate the proceedings and, if requested by the parties and not objected to by the arbitrator, record the settlement in the form of an arbitral award on agreed terms.

 

  1. The arbitrator shall deposit the original award, together with record of the arbitration proceedings, with Sama authorising it to cause the award to be filed in the Court of competent jurisdiction when required.

 

  1. An arbitral award shall be made in writing and shall be signed by the members of the arbitrator. The arbitral award shall state the date and the place of arbitration.

 

  1. After the arbitral award is made, a signed copy thereof shall be delivered to each party. In arbitral proceedings with more than one arbitrator, the signatures of the majority of all the members of the arbitrator shall be sufficient so long as the reason for any omitted signature is stated.

 

  1. The law applicable to the arbitration shall be the arbitration law of the place of arbitration, unless the parties have expressly agreed on the application of another arbitration law and such agreement is permitted by the law of the place of arbitration.

 

  1. Place of Arbitration.

Unless otherwise contractually stipulated, the place of arbitration shall be Bangalore, Karnatak and for the purposes of enforcement and appeal, the court of enforcement shall be identified in the award as the executing court based on the registered addresses provided by the parties.

 

  1. Language
  1. Where the arbitration agreement does not specify any language, the arbitral proceedings shall be conducted in English.

 

  1. Should any documentary or oral evidence not be in the official language, the arbitrator may order that any such evidence be accompanied by a translation.

 

  1. Interim Measures.
  1. The arbitrator may, on an application made by a party to the dispute, make an order granting any interim measure of protection listed in section 17(1) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

 

  1. The arbitrator shall have the same power for making orders, as the Court has for the purpose of, and in relation to any proceedings before it.

 

  1. An order made by the arbitrator under this rule shall be enforceable under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in the same manner as if it were an order of the Court

 

  1. Ex-Parte Arbitration.
  1. Where, without showing sufficient cause, -

 

  1. the Claimant fails to communicate his statement of claim in accordance with these rules, the arbitrator, upon notification to Sama and the CM shall terminate the proceedings or violates the timelines prescribed as per the time schedule of arbitration determined and set under the Sama Arbitration Rules and/or under Clause 4;

 

  1. the Respondent fails to communicate his statement of defence or the Claimant fails to communicate his defence to the counter-claim, the arbitrator shall continue the proceedings without treating that failure in itself as an admission of the allegations made in the statement of claim or of counter-claim as the case may be and shall have the discretion to treat the right of the Respondent or, as the case may be, of the Claimant to file such statement of defence or counter- claim as having been forfeited.

 

  1. a party fails to appear at an oral hearing or to produce witness or documentary evidence, the arbitrator may continue the proceedings and make the arbitral award on the evidence before it. Any such arbitral award shall be final and binding.

 

  1. Sufficient Cause, for the purpose of this clause, shall mean, non-adherence to timeliness set by the arbitrator and CM or repeated absence from appearing or response to the arbitral proceedings.

 

  1. Correction and Interpretation of the Award.
  1. Within 15 Business Days from the notification of the arbitral award,- (i) a party, with notice to the other party, may request the arbitrator with a copy to the CM, to correct any computation errors, any clerical or typographical errors or any other errors of a similar nature occurring in the award; and (ii)  if so agreed by the parties, a party, with notice to the other party, may request the arbitrator to give an interpretation of a specific point or part of the award.

 

  1. If the arbitrator considers the request made under sub- rule (1) to be justified it shall make the correction or give the interpretation within 15 Business Days from the notification of the request and the interpretation shall form part of the arbitral award.

 

  1. The arbitrator may correct any error of the type referred to in clause (i) of sub-rule (1), on its own initiative, within 15 Business Days from the date of the arbitral award.

 

  1. A Party, with notice to the other party, may request, within 15 Business Days from the notification of the arbitral award, the arbitrator to make an additional arbitral award as to claims presented in the arbitral proceedings but omitted from the arbitral award.

 

  1. If the arbitrator considers the request made under sub- rule (4) to be justified, it shall make the additional arbitral award within 15 Business Days from the notification of such request.  The arbitrator may extend, if necessary, the period of time within which it shall make a correction, give an interpretation or make an additional arbitral award.

 

  1. Provisions of confidentiality shall apply to a correction or interpretation of the arbitral award or to an additional arbitral award made under this rule.

 

  1. Deposits
  1. In the course of the arbitration, the arbitrator may require that the parties make supplementary deposits with Sama.

 

  1. If the required deposits under sub-rules(1)and(2)are not made in full in respect of the claim or counter-claim within 15 Business Days, the arbitrator will inform the parties in order that one or the other party may make the required deposit and if the required deposit is not made, the arbitrator may suspend the proceedings or may make a written declaration of termination of the proceedings to the parties, effective on the date of that declaration as regards the claim or counterclaim for which the deposit is not made.

 

  1. Sama shall hold any deposits required under this rule.

 

  1. Upon termination of the arbitral proceedings, Sama shall, in accordance with the final award, apply any deposits it holds to the costs of the proceedings, render an accounting to the parties of the deposits received and applied and return any unexpended balance to the parties.

 

  1. Conclusion, Suspension and Termination.
  1. The arbitral proceedings shall stand terminated on making of the final arbitral award or by an order of the arbitrator under sub-rule (2).

 

  1. The arbitrator shall make an order for the termination of the arbitral proceedings where- (i)  the claimant withdraws his claim, unless the respondent objects to the order and the arbitrator recognises a legitimate interest on his part in obtaining a final adjudication of the dispute, or (ii)  the parties agree on the termination of the proceedings, or (iii) the arbitrator finds that the continuation of the proceedings has for any other reason become unnecessary or impossible, or (iv) the arbitrator finds that the payment terms and/or deposits ordered have not been complied with by the parties.

 

  1. The mandate of the arbitrator shall terminate with the termination of the arbitral proceedings.

 

  1. Judicial Intervention.

During the pendency of arbitral proceedings with Sama, no Party shall approach the Court for any interim measures or evidence taking under Section(s) 9 or 27 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. 

 

  1. Equal treatment.

Parties shall be treated with equality and each Party shall be given due opportunity to present its case.

 

  1. Fees
  1. The Parties must pay Sama the relevant fees as detailed in the Pre-Arbitration Call.

 

  1. Parties are jointly and severally liable for the fees and expenses of the conciliation, together with any additional costs howsoever incurred by Sama in recovering any overdue monies, on a full indemnity basis.

 

  1. Enforcement

Parties may be required to comply with the execution requirements under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to enforce the arbitral award. The time period for enforcement is 90 days from the date on which the award was passed. Once an enforcement application has been made and an order has been passed, parties are required to inform Sama in relation to the execution application/ compliance with the award.

 

  1. Scope and Review.
  1. The DRP Review Committee may examine the arbitration case file, from time to time to evaluate the progress of the proceedings and to ascertain whether the arbitrators have granted adjournments only on reasonable grounds.

 

  1. The DRP Review Committee shall be sole judge of the grounds of violation of the guidelines and its decision shall be final and binding on the arbitrator as well as the parties.

 

  1. Exclusion of Liability.
  1. Parties, together and separately, release and discharge the members of the DRP and Sama, its agents and employees, from liability which may be alleged to arise in connection with, or to result from, or to in any way relate to the exercise of any of their functions, duties or powers, whether under the procedural law of the arbitration, under these rules, or otherwise, unless the act or omission is the fraudulent act of the arbitrator, Sama, its agents or its employees. Any DRP, Sama or any agent or employee of Sama who has not acted fraudulently and is shown to be unaware of the fraud of any other person, will continue to be released and discharged from liability as provided in these r

 

  1. No statements or comments, whether written or oral, made or used by the arbitrator, Sama, its agents or employees, in connection with, or resulting from, or in any way relating to the conciliation process, may be relied upon to found or maintain any action for defamation, libel, slander, or any related complaint.

 

 

SAMA MEDIATION RULES

 

  1. Commencement
  1. Parties can under a pre-existing contract containing a Sama Dispute Resolution Clause or through a joint application by accepting the SamaSama Terms and Conditions, approach Sama to commence a case mediation process. Mediation under the Sama Mediation Rules, shall commence when all parties to the case accept the SamaSama Terms and Conditions.

 

  1. In the event one party in a pre-existing or a potential dispute approaches Sama to resolve the case through mediation, Sama upon the request will send an Invitation to Mediate to the other party. If the Invitation to Mediate is accepted, the parties are required to sign the SamaSama Terms and Conditions to commence the mediation process.

 

  1. Case Manager Assignment.
  1. Within 5 Business Days of the Notification of the Sama Terms and Conditions, Sama shall send the Mediation Notification, which lists out the details of the CM and the particulars of the Pre-Mediation Call to offer a brief overview of the process, how to use the Sama platform and answer any preliminary queries that the parties may have. The Pre-Mediation Call shall occur within 3 Business Days of the Mediation Notification, based on the availability and option of the Parties.

 

  1. The CM, shall be available for any administrative, secretarial and Sama related queries that the Parties may have for the duration of the case.

 

  1. The CM will inform the parties of important dates relating to the submission of the mediators brief, the appointment of the mediator and shall assist the parties in arriving at a first date to commence the mediation process. The CM shall also provide the duly signed conflict of interest agreement by the mediator appointed.

 

  1. Appointment of Mediators.
  1. There shall be one mediator appointed by Sama, unless (i) the mediator appointed requests a co-mediation based on a perusal of the case or (ii) owing to the complexity of the case Sama is of the opinion that a co-mediation is necessary.

 

  1. Based on the case requirements, Sama has sole discretion in appointment and assignment of a case to a DRP. Parties are free to make a request for a mediator who is a part of the DRPs, however, the final appointment decision shall be with Sama.

 

  1. Prior to appointment of any mediator Sama shall provide a disclosure agreement, outline any or no prior professional or personal engagement or affiliation between the parties and the DRPs. Parties may raise any substantial conflict concerns against the mediator identified and appointed as DRP for the case within 24 hours of the Pre-Mediation Call. Only if a substantial conflict issue (as defined under the Sama Code of Conduct) is raised, will a change in DRP be entertained.

 

  1. Submission of Mediators Brief.
  1. A mediators’ brief is a written statement describing the general nature of the dispute and the points at issue in the case. A mediators’ brief shall not be more than 4 pages (including any footnotes and end notes). Relevant supporting, supplementary and ancillary documentation may be submitted along with the mediators brief. The mediators brief shall be submitted within 5 Business Days of the Pre-Conference Call.

 

  1. Parties have the right to submit a “for the mediators’ eye only” brief. Any such documentation must be marked clearly and submitted separately to the mediator. The mediator shall not share information that is received and marked ’for the mediators eyes only’.

 

  1. The mediator may request each party to submit a further written statement of his position and the facts and grounds in support thereof, supplement by any documents and other evidence that such part deemed appropriate. Unless otherwise marked as ‘for mediators eyes’ only’, all additional documentation shall be shared with all Parties.

 

  1. In case of a co-mediation, parties are required to send the mediators brief and its related documentation to all appointed mediators.

 

  1. Communications
  1. Until the CM is assigned, all communications relating to the process must be directed to <insert Sama official address>. Thereafter, all communications should be in accordance with the procedure as informed by the CM in the Pre-Mediation Call.

 

  1. Any application, agreement, request, instruction, direction, response, notice, or other communication required or referred to in these rules, must be made in writing through the Sama platform .

 

  1. Unless marked as confidential, all notifications, documents, or information provided to the mediator by a party must be simultaneously be communicated by that party to every other party to the case.

 

  1. Role of a Mediator.
  1. The mediator shall assist the parties in an independent and neutral manner in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute.

 

  1. The mediator shall be guided by principles of objectivity, fairness and justice, giving consideration to, among other things, the rights and obligations of the parties, the usages of the trade concerned and the circumstances surrounding the dispute, including any previous business practices between the Parties.

 

  1. The mediator may conduct the mediation in such a manner as he considers appropriate, taking into account the circumstances of the case, the wishes the Parties may express, including any request by a Party that the mediator hear oral statements, and the need for a speedy settlement of the dispute.

 

  1. Confidentiality
  1. All parties are required to sign the Sama Sama Terms and Conditions which outlines the confidentiality and privacy requirements relating to all information being shared during any case resolution process. The general terms of privacy and confidentiality can also be referred to on the Sama website at: sama.live

 

  1. No recording of any kind shall be made of any meetings of the parties with the mediator.

 

  1. Each person involved in the mediation, including, in particular, the mediator the parties and their representatives and advisors, any independent experts and any other persons present during the meetings of the Parties with the mediator, shall respect the confidentiality of the mediation and may not, unless otherwise agreed by the parties and the mediator, use or disclose to any outside party any information concerning, or obtained in the course of the mediation.

 

  1. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, each person involved in the mediation shall, on the conclusion of the mediation, as per these rules, return, to the party providing it, any brief, document or other materials supplied by a Party, without retaining any copy of such materials. Any notes taken by a person concerning the meetings of the parties with the mediator shall be destroyed upon the conclusion of the mediation.

 

  1. Evidence and Admissibility.
  1. The parties shall not rely on or introduce as evidence in arbitral or judicial proceedings, whether or not such proceedings relate to the dispute that is the subject of the mediation,
    1. views expressed or suggestions made by a Party(ies) in respect of a possible settlement of the dispute;
    2. admissions made by a Party in the course of the mediation;
    3. the fact that a Party has indicated his willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by the mediator.

 

  1. The mediator shall not be presented by the Parties as a witness in any arbitral or judicial proceedings.

 

  1. Disclosure of Information.

When the mediator receives factual information concerning the dispute from a Party, he shall disclose the substance of that information to the other party in order that the other party may have the opportunity to present any explanation which he considers appropriate:

 

Provided that when a Party gives any information to the mediator subject to a specific condition that such information is ’for the mediators eyes only’, the mediator shall not disclose that information to the other party. Any disclosure during the process shall be made with the express oral consent of the disclosing party.

 

  1. Settlement Agreement and Mediators Award.
  1. When the Parties reach and sign the settlement agreement, it shall be final and binding on the Parties in the manner of a valid binding contract.

 

  1. At the request of the Parties, the settlement agreement can be converted into a conciliators award and/or an arbitral award under the relevant provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

 

  1. Appointment of Experts.

During the mediation processes, the mediator and/or the Parties are free to call upon any experts with technical or area specific knowledge. Any costs of appointing experts shall be borne equally by both Parties or by the Party appointing such an expert.

 

  1. Conclusion, Suspension and Termination.
  1. The mediation shall be considered completed or concluded:
    1. by the signing of a settlement agreement by the parties covering any or all of the issues in dispute between the parties;
    2. by the option of the mediator if, further efforts at mediation are unlikely to lead to a resolution of the dispute; or
    3. by a written declaration of a party at any time after a first discussion of the parties with the mediation.

 

  1. Upon the conclusion of the mediation, the mediator shall promptly send to the CM a notice in writing that the mediation is terminated and shall indicate the date on which it has concluded, whether or not the mediation resulted in a settlement of the dispute and, if so, whether the settlement was full or partial. The mediator shall inform the parties regarding such a requirement and reinforce the confidentiality terms.

 

  1. Sama shall keep the said notice of the mediator confidential and shall not, without the written authorisation of the parties, disclose either the existence or the result of the mediation to any person.

 

  1. Sama may, however, include information concerning the mediation in any aggregate statistical data that it publishes concerning its activities, provided that such information does not reveal the identity of the parties or enable the particular circumstances of the dispute to be identified.

 

  1. In the event that the mediation is inconclusive owing to parties or the mediator being of the opinion that the process is not appropriate for the case, parties have a choice to refer the case to conciliation under the Sama Conciliation Rules or arbitration under the Sama Arbitration Rules. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the mediator shall not act as an arbitrator or as a representative or counsel of a Party in any arbitral or judicial proceeding in respect of a dispute that is the subject of the mediation

 

  1. Language

The mediation process shall be conducted in English. At the option of the mediator and/or with the mutual consent of all Parties to the mediation process, a translator maybe appointed as an expert to assist in the mediation process. The Parties shall bear equal costs of appointing an expert translator.

 

  1. Judicial Intervention.

The Parties shall not initiate, during the mediation, any arbitral or judicial proceedings in respect of a dispute that is the subject-matter of the mediation.

 

  1. Representation and Support.
  1. Each Party must be represented at all conferences and mediation sessions by a person with authority to make final and conclusive decisions.

 

  1. Parties may be represented at mediation by any person, whether legally trained or not, provided that the engagement of a representative by a Party does not threaten or bring into question the integrity of the mediation due to a past or present relationship with any party or the mediator, unless none of the parties object after proper disclosure.

 

  1. Parties must advise the CM, the mediator and every other party of the names and relevant details of those persons who will be accompanying them at any mediation session not less than 3 Business Days prior to the session. All additional persons will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement that forms a part of the SamaSama Terms and Conditions as a condition of their attendance at the mediation.

 

  1. The mediator may withhold approval for an additional representative or support person to attend the mediation where the mediator, in his or her sole discretion, considers their attendance could threaten or bring into question the integrity of the mediation.

 

  1. Fees
  1. The Parties must pay Sama the relevant fees as informed and detailed at the Pre-Mediation Call.

 

  1. Parties are jointly and severally liable for the fees and expenses of the mediation, together with any additional costs howsoever incurred by Sama in recovering any overdue monies, on a full indemnity basis.

 

  1. Costs

Costs shall be borne equally by all parties unless the settlement agreement or a pre-existing arrangement informed to the CM prior to the commencement of the mediation agreement states otherwise.

 

  1. Exclusion of Liability.
  1. Parties, together and separately, release and discharge the members of the DRP and Sama, its agents and employees, from any liability which may be alleged to arise in connection with, or to result from, or to in any way relate to the exercise of any of their functions, duties or powers, whether under the procedural law of the mediation, under these rules, or otherwise, unless the act or omission is the fraudulent act of the mediator, Sama, its agents or its employees. Any DRP, Sama or any agent or employee of Sama who has not acted fraudulently and is shown to be unaware of the fraud of any other person, will continue to be released and discharged from liability as provided in these r

 

  1. No statements or comments, whether written or oral, made or used by the mediator, Sama, its agents or employees, in connection with, or resulting from, or in any way relating to the mediation process, may be relied upon to found or maintain any action for defamation, libel, slander, or any related complaint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information , contact:

 

<info@sama.live>