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Wednesday, Feb 05, 2003

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System soon to cut arbitration costs

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THE Government is evolving a new scheme to make arbitration cost effective, time bound and a meaningful alternative dispute resolution mechanism in order to decongest the courts of civil cases based on mere facts.

In this connection, the inhibiting factors such as high cost of arbitration fees to be paid by the litigants and want of trained and competent arbitrators are being removed so that competent persons can be made available as arbitrators and the litigants are not expected to pay any arbitration fees

Details are being worked out and when these come into force, it would greatly enable disposal of not only pending civil cases but also cases that are raised on pure questions of fact. Steps are afoot to introduce the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in the forthcoming Budget Session of Parliament, according to an official release.

Efforts are being made to clear the pending civil cases like the Fast Track Courts that have been set up to dispose of pending criminal cases. It is found that more than 60 per cent of civil cases filed, are based on pure questions of fact. Such civil cases need not necessarily crowd the calendar of civil courts for disposal. In this context, the Government is considering seriously proposals to set up alternate dispute resolution mechanism through arbitration, conciliation or mediation so that the civil courts, where these cases are filed, can be empowered to transfer those cases.

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