Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
9. Interim measures, etc. by Court.—
A party may, before or during arbitral proceedings or at any time after the making of the arbitral award but before it is enforced in accordance with section 36, apply to a court—
(i) for the appointment of a guardian for a minor or a person of unsound mind for the purposes of arbitral proceedings; or
(ii) for an interim measure of protection in respect of any of the following matters, namely:—
(a) the preservation, interim custody or sale of any goods which are the subject-matter of the arbitration agreement;
(b) securing the amount in dispute in the arbitration;
(c) the detention, preservation or inspection of any property or thing which is the subject-matter of the dispute in arbitration, or as to which any question may arise therein and authorising for any of the aforesaid purposes any person to enter upon any land or building in the possession of any party, or authorising any samples to be taken or any observation to be made, or experiment to be tried, which may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of obtaining full information or evidence;
(d) interim injunction or the appointment of a receiver;
(e) such other interim measure of protection as may appear to the court to be just and convenient,
and the Court shall have the same power for making orders as it has for the purpose of, and in relation to, any proceedings before it.
A party or a person is entitled to interim protection if action of the other party is either in breach of the terms of the agreement or militates against equity, fair play or natural justice, otherwise not; Baby Arya v. Delhi Vidyut Board, AIR 2002 Del 50.
Pendency of any arbitral proceedings is not a pre-condition for an exercise of power by the court
Pendency of any arbitral proceedings is not a pre-condition for exercise of power by court. The court may grant interim relief before or during arbitral proceedings or at anytime after making of the arbitral award but before it is enforced; Globe Cogeneration Power Ltd. v. Sri Hiranyakeshi Sahkari Sakkere Karkhane Niyamit, AIR 2005 Kant 94.
Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, only deals with the interim measure by the court. Obviously it is not within the scope of this section to inquire into the claim and the counter-claim made by both the parties in regard to the custody of the articles beyond what has been admitted by the respondent; Narain Sahai Aggarwal v. Santosh Rani, 1997 (2) Arb LR 322.