SUPREME COURT : In Caravel Shipping Services Pvt. Ltd. vs. Premier Sea Foods Exim Pvt. Ltd.

Section 7(4) provides that an arbitration agreement would be found in the circumstances mentioned in the three sub-clauses that make up Section 7(4). This does not mean that in all cases an arbitration agreement needs to be signed. The only prerequisite is that it be in writing, as has been pointed out in Section 7(3).

An arbitration agreement needs to be in writing though it need not be signed. The fact that the arbitration agreement shall be in writing is continued in the 1996 Act in Section 7(3) thereof. Section 7(4) only further adds that an arbitration agreement would be found in the circumstances mentioned in the three sub-clauses that make up Section 7(4). This does not mean that in all cases an arbitration agreement needs to be signed. The only prerequisite is that it be in writing, as has been pointed out in Section 7(3). This being the case, the present is a clear case where, under Section 7(5) of the Act read with M.R. Engineers and Contractors Pvt. Ltd., the reference in the Bill of Lading is such as to make the arbitration clause part of the contract between the parties.

Link : https://www.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2016/27679/27679_2016_Judgement_29-Oct-2018.pdf