The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018 - Context
Very recently the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, to reconstruct and renovate, with the objective of making India the hub or fulcrum of arbitration.
What is Arbitration?
The term Arbitration refers to mediation, conciliation, negotiation, the act of settlement or bitterness or disagreement between two entities (parties) to an agreement by the third entity (party). This also means settling the disputation or argument without restoring to court actions.
This is a soft method to make the solution suitable for both the entities (parties) involved. The mediator i.e. the arbitrators may be called upon for their expertise in the particular subject matter.
The process of arbitration can be kept confidential, limited to only parties involved and invited, faster and very economical than court sessions. There is limited or very less ground for appeal.
Key Features of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018
New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC)
The respective bill intends to provide the groundwork for the institution of NDIAC to carry out arbitration and mediation intercept proceedings. The Bill specifies the NDIAC as the establishment of national importance.
International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR):
ICADR is a registered establishment to encourage the resolution of disagreement or dispute through the alternate conflict resolution method (in this case arbitration or conciliation). This bill mentions the transfer or handover of the existing ICADR to the central government.
According to the Arbitration Bill, the NDIAC will consist of seven members as such ...
- Chairperson (Judge of the Apex or a High Court), or a significant/influential person with subject matter expertise and considerable experience in the demeanour or administration of the arbitration.
- Two significant/influential individuals have valued comprehension and experience in arbitration.
- Three ex-officio (from the office) members, including a potential appointee from the Ministry of Finance and a Chief Executive Officer (for seamless and regular administration of the NDIAC).
- A Representative/Designee, from an acknowledged body of commerce and industry segment. This position is appointed or scheduled as a part-time member, on a rotational basis.
Term and Superannuation
- The team members (appointed seven members) of NDIAC will hold the office/designation initially for three years and be eligible or entitled for re-appointment. The top man of NDIAC, i.e. the chairperson’s retirement age is 70 (seventy only) years.
- The retirement age of the body members (remaining 6 body members) is 67 years, except Chairperson.
The objective of the NDIA
There are objectives attached to the NDIAC, they are as such ...
- Promoting required research, providing training and organization of conferences and seminars in alternative dispute resolution matters.
- Provide facilities and administrative assistance for the demeanour of arbitration, mediation and conciliation proceedings.
- Maintaining an appropriate panel or team of accredited professionals to conduct arbitration, mediation and conciliation proceedings.
Key Functions of the NDIAC
- Facilitating demeanour of arbitration and conciliation in a professional, timely and cost-effective manner.
- Encourage studies and education in the field of alternative dispute resolution.
Finance and Audit
- The NDIAC must maintain finance and funds, which is supposed to get credit for financial assistance and grants received from the central government, monetary charges collected in return for its activities and other sources. The audits for accounts of NDIAC will be under the CAG of India.
- The Bill specifies, the NDIAC requirement to institute the Chamber of Arbitration (permanent panel of arbitrators).
- Besides, the NDIAC may institute an Arbitration Academy to educate and train arbitrators and perform research in the context of finding new alternative conflict resolution. The independent committees may be appointed by the NDIAC to administer the NDIAC functions.
It is observed that a reliable and amenable (flexible) conflict resolution system is necessary for emerging economies and rapidly developing nations like India. The situations where a business needs speedy resolution, the lawsuit, legal action or prosecution is the least favoured method of dispute resolution. Unfortunately, the Indian Judicial System is ruined by a series of delays in hearings and conflicts, and disagreements are not solved in the expected time or reasonable time. This calls for an alternate method for conflict resolution, like mediation or intercept, thus the requirement for arbitration is required in particular.