Lok Sabha passed The New Delhi International Arbitration bill which replaces the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution which was established under the Societies Registration Act in 1995 and gave international Arbitration centre an independent and autonomous status which will enhance its management competencies. In order to make India a hub of international arbitration and a centre of robust ADR mechanism, A High Powered committee headed by Justice B N Srikrishna, a former Supreme Court judge, was formulated by the central government in order to review the institutionalization of arbitration mechanism. In its report, the committee submitted that the international centre for alternative dispute resolution which works under the aegis of Supreme Court has grossly proven ineffective in terms of addressing the growing need of intuitional arbitration and proposed to give International Arbitration Centre an autonomous status. Considering its suggestions, the bill was introduced by the Minister of State for Law and justice, Mr. P.P Chaudhary on January 5, 2018, in Lok Sabha. The bill seeks to declare The New Delhi Arbitration centre as an institute of national importance and free from any interference of any external agency so that the intuition can utilize its infrastructure and all the other facilities to its optimum level as well as incorporate a robust institution for domestic and international arbitration. As proposed by the bill, the head office of the centre shall be at Delhi and it may with the previous approval of the Central Government, establish branches at other places in India and abroad. As far as the composition of the institution is concerned, the centre will consist of –
i) a chairperson who may be the judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court or an eminent person having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration, appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India—Chairperson;
(ii) two eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in institutional arbitration, both domestic and international, appointed by the Central Government—full-time or part-time Members;
(iii) One representative of a recognized body of commerce and industry, chosen on a rotational basis by the Central Government—part-time Member;
(iv) Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Law and Justice or his representative, not below the rank of the Joint Secretary—Member, ex officio;
(v) One Financial Adviser nominated by the Ministry of Finance—Member, ex officio; and
(vi) Chief Executive Officer—Member, ex officio.
The tenure of the members shall be of three years from the date on which they enter upon their office or till the age of 70 years for the chairperson and 67 years for the person, whichever occur earliest and shall be eligible for reappointment. The essential objectives and functions of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre will be-
- To provide assistance for arbitral, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute resolution matters
- To lay downs guidelines for different modes of dispute resolution which can be adopted by centre
- To provide facilities in order to improve the management and conduct the arbitral proceeding in a cost-effective manner
- To collaborate with other intuitions at National and International level to ascertain the credibility of the Centre as a specialized institution in arbitration and conciliation
- To promote research and study
- to maintain panels of accredited arbitrators, conciliators, and mediators both at national and international level
The accounts of the centre will be audited and certified by the Comptroller and auditor general of India and all the funds received by the institution will be granted by the central government from the fee collected for its activities and other sources. The bill is a major step taken towards making India a hub of domestic and international arbitration .it promotes to resolve disputes amicably without indulging into rigorous court procedures and ensuring that justice is attained by all at shortest time span possible. With a lot of commercial disputes, it is necessary to have a proper arbitration mechanism in place for fastening resolution process and therefore, establishing an autonomous body would ensure the parties of dispute from any external influence on the decision-making process of the institution and boost their credence in the mechanism.