Policy

Arbitrators need to play more active role, says CJI

K. R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on April 07, 2014 Published on April 07, 2014

Arbitrators must be activists to render the arbitration process more effective, the Chief Justice of India, P Sathasivam, has said.

“If arbitrators simply sit back and let the parties determine the procedure, ultimately the parties themselves will be unhappy and make the process perpetual”, Sathasivam said at a book launch event in the capital on Monday.

The book titled ‘O.P.Malhotra on the law and practice of Arbitration & Conciliation’ has been authored by Indu Malhotra, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and published by Thomson Reuters, Legal.

Speaking on the occasion, Sathasivam said that the increasing complexity of arbitration cases requires arbitrators to take more active role in ensuring the case proceeds in the most efficient and effective manner.

PROFESSIONALISM

Noting that higher judiciary encountered badly drafted arbitration agreements, Sathasivam said there was a dire need for culture of professionalism while dealing with arbitration.

“We have even observed a lack of will in the bar to convince the clients to go for arbitration”.

India needs arbitral institutions that have systematic and efficient procedures and a well-trained bar that can understand the legal aspects of this technical subject, he said.

PENDENCY

The issue of delay in disposal of cases is haunting the sphere of arbitration as well, Sathasivam noted.

He said that India has always been arbitration friendly since the availability of effective dispute resolution mechanisms has become a precondition for attracting investors while maintaining the confidence of parties who are in a commercial transaction.

There is dire need for uniform rules for procedure of enforcement and inordinate delays in court proceedings would potentially violate India’s bilateral investment treaty obligations, he added.

From the year 2010 till date, 134 arbitration petitions had been filed before the Supreme Court and about 102 matters have been disposed off.

There are 32 pending matters, Sathasivam said.

“Enforcement proceedings of arbitral awards get entangled with the general backlog of cases. That is the primary reason for the undue delay caused.

Although Supreme Court has an exclusive arbitration bench, the burden of backlog of arbitration cases has not lessened”.

“It should be the endeavor of bar and bench to bring the Indian law and practice in conformity with the international practice and treaties for furthering investment treaty arbitration and international commercial arbitration”.

He hoped that Indian arbitration law would be fine-tuned to the demands of the trans-national economic order.

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Published on April 07, 2014
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