Recently, there has been a proposal in the Lok Sabha for the establishment of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre. The Bill has been introduced by the Minister of Law and Justice Mr. P.P. Chaudhary on January 5, 2018. It has been introduced in the Lok Sabha in the persuasion of the needs of the people and society at large. The pendency of the cases in the courts have set a new benchmark for itself and this is a sign of escalating grievances between people. There are many root causes of the people being in conflict but the parliament this year has thought to solve the problem of the Judiciary by introducing the new Arbitration Bill 2018, which seeks to resolve the disputes between the people as well as the grave problem of pendency of cases in the Indian Judiciary. Let us look into what this Bill has to offer us:-
Key Features of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill
New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC)
One of the major key features of the New Delhi Arbitration Centre Bill is the creation of such arbitration center which focuses on the growth of arbitration rather than indulging in the court cases itself. It promotes and fosters the development of arbitration, mediation, conciliation proceedings as against the legal suits and court proceedings. By providing an acceleration to such development, it declares the arbitration centres to be of national importance.
International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution System
Another feature to be looked at while talking about this act is that the incessant focus to create mechanisms that focus towards the alternative dispute resolution. When considering the creation of International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution System, the focus of the parliamentarians is to promote the use of alternative dispute mechanisms. This in a way serves the purpose of the creation of the Bill. The point to be noted is that the current cases of the centre will be transferred to the central government so that it comes up as a fresh body of dispute mechanism.
Another important feature of the bill is its composition. Under the Bill, the New Delhi Arbitration Centre will consist of seven members which will constitute of the following:-
- Chairperson who may be a Judge of the Supreme court or the High Court, or an eminent person with special knowledge and experience in arbitration.
- Two eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in the institutional arbitration
- Three ex-officio members, including a nominee from the Finance ministry
- A Chief Executive officer
- A Representative of the local background of the commerce industry who will be appointed on a part time member on a rotational basis.
Another important feature to note is the term for which the members of the Arbitration Centres are appointed. The members hold the office for a period of three years and will be eligible for re-appointment. The retirement age of the members of the centre will be 70 years for the Chairperson and 67 years for other members.
Having carefully examined the key features of the Bill, let us quickly get into the need, objectives and functions of the NDIAC i.e. New Delhi International Arbitration Centre.
Need, Objectives and Functions of the NDIAC
When we look at the Bill, we all must get a question into our minds that Arbitration act exists previously as well, but when it comes to the creation of a new act, why has it been created? What is the purpose of creation of a new centre in New Delhi when the old act is applicable to most of the parts of the country including the National Capital?
The answer to this is that though we have arbitration centres, the pendency of the cases in the courts are not getting reduced. The number of pendency of cases escalates to another record every year, thus creating boundaries between people and Justice. Therefore, we must look into the objectives and functions of this Act and try to understand the purpose for which it has been incorporated.
- Promoting Research, Training and Organizing Conferences and Seminars in Alternative Dispute Resolution Matters – This means that it is created with a view to foster research in the issues which people are facing in their daily lives and can be solved with the help of ADR mechanisms rather than the court proceedings. This will not only save time and money but also save a lot of lives.
- Providing Facilities and Administrative Assistance for the Conduct of Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation Proceedings – This means that the centre wil assist not only the pendency of the cases but also the administrative work and conduct the arbitration proceedings from time to time.
- Facilitating the conduct of Arbitration and Conciliation in a professional, timely and cost effective manner- which means that the centre need not only provide arbitration facilities but also provide them at a cheaper rate which draws the attention of the people towards Arbitration.
- Promoting Studies in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution- this means that the parliament feels that there is a dire need to study more in the quality, quantity, needs of the people at which the ADR centres should operate and therefore, it focuses on getting more and more people to research in this field.
- Maintaining a Panel of Accredited Professionals to Conduct Arbitration – this means that the centre aims to provide speedy justice to all through ADR methods while not compromising on the quality of justice dispensed. The quality of the Judges or the panel has to be up to the mark and renowned, so that the ultimate objective of the Bill is not defeated.
Some of the most important benefits include the following:-
- Save Time – this means that the bill aims to dispense speedy justice to all through the ADR methods especially focussing on the institutionalized areas.
- Save Money – This means that the bill aims to not only save time but also aims to save money of the people by providing speedy justice at reasonable rates.
- Save Efforts – the Bill aims to provide justice easily and not through going to the courts again and again. Thereby focussing on saving efforts of the public.
- Save Energy – When a person saves efforts, he also saves his energy along.
- Get Quality Justice – the panel of discussion and deciding is a qualified one as the chairperson must be a Judge of either the Supreme Court or the High Court and other members are experts in the field.
- Research more – the bill aims to foster research culture in the legal practitioners and the students so that the centre can function more effectively and judiciously.
- Institutional Support – The bill aims to provide an institutional support to the Judiciary. The bill also specifies that the NDIAC will establish a chamber of Arbitration which will maintain a permanent panel of arbitrators. Further, the NDIAC may also establish an Arbitration academy for training the arbitrators and fostering research. The NDIAC may also constitute committees to administer its functions.
Now that we have looked at the benefits, objectives, needs and the key features of the Bill, we know where to go because Arbitration, mediation and conciliation will serve us better than the court proceedings. Let’s hope the bill will pass in Parliament.