The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill

Author: Manasi Mahadeshwar, 1st year, LL.B, Jitendra Chauhan College of Law The article has been written by the author while pursuing the internship programme with us. Introduction: Arbitration in simple terms means ‘out of the court settlement’. It is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Whenever there is a dispute between the parties filing a suit there is an option to settle the matter without the interference of the court, unless the matter is a criminal one. In arbitration proceedings there is an arbitrator who is appointed as an umpire. His main duty is to get the parties of the dispute to a fair settlement. The court interference is better when avoided because it costs a lot of time and money to the parties. The time taken for a case to be settled is not due to the incapability of the courts but mostly because of our judicial system which is overburdened with the cases. This is one of the many reasons that arbitration and conciliation is the first preferred option when it comes to issues related to the civil code. The National Judicial Data Grid estimates that there are more than three crore cases pending across court which is why there is an increasing need for Alternative Dispute Resolutions and them being Arbitration and Conciliation. Arbitration being an important ingredient of law, The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill, 2019[1] was introduced by the Minister of law along with Justice Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad in Lok Sabha on 3rd of July 2019. The NDIAC bill was introduced by keeping its main motive in mind i.e. to flourish India into an International hub for arbitration. This was an initiative of PM Modi which was led by the NDA government. This bill was introduced for many reasons, one of them was to transfer and acquire the undertakings of the International Centre of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR) to the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019 (NDIAC)[2]. Our Prime Minister, Mr Modi felt it necessary to have a platform for an institutionalized domestic and international arbitration centre and hence this bill was brought into effect. Background Let’s go back in the past to check how the need for passing this bill was born. The government of India was in a constant struggle to introduce an independent and autonomous body for resolving international and domestic commercial disputes with the help of the alternative dispute resolutions, as the courts were overburdened. A High Level Committee (HLC) which was set up in the year 2017 which consisted of Justice B.N Shankar, former Judge of the Supreme Court in lead, suggested the government to take over the International Centre For Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR) which was an existing institution established by using public funds in the year 1995. As the government was already looking for an independent institution it took this recommendation and introduced the NDIAC bill in the Lok Sabha in 2018, which was further passed in the year 2019. Composition The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre will consist of 7 members[3]. Once the board/committee is formed it will be governed by a Chairperson. The chairperson must be a person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Judge of a High Court or any person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration, law or management. The members of the committee are to be appointed by the Central Government after the consultation with the Chief Justice of India. The committee will also have 2 Full-time or Part-time Members chosen from the eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in institutional arbitration in both domestic and international manner. In addition to this, 1 representative of a recognized body of commerce and industry must be nominated on a rotational basis as a Part-time Member. The Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice, Financial Adviser nominated by Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance and Chief Executive Officer, NDIAC will be ex-officio Members[4]. The members of this committee can hold office upto three years, they are eligible for reappointment. The Chairman retires at the age of 70 whereas the other members in the committee will retire at 67 years of age or after three years of holding the office whichever is earlier. Functions of the Members of NDIAC[5] The bill, as we know, has to form a committee of members to look after the administration and functioning of the NDIAC[6]. There are certain duties which are allocated to its members are, to establish a Chamber for Arbitration which will maintain a permanent panel of Arbitrators, they have the responsibility of training the arbitrators by establishing an Arbitrators Academy. Along with training the arbitrators the members are also expected to carry out research in Alternative Dispute Resolution. The committee also has the authority to form another committee as it may deem for the betterment of its administration. The finances of this committee are handled by the Central Government. The books are to be audited by the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) at the end of every financial year. The status of NDIAC today The bill is a recent development in the Alternative Dispute Resolution sector which took place and therefore the steps are being taken to start the effective functioning of the Arbitration Centre under this bill. The centre is yet to be set up Arbitration Centres, but the work is on-going in full swing. This bill will have a huge impact on the smooth functioning of the commercial business as it will eliminate the courts. This is expected to reduce the burden on the courts at the same time help the businesses to solve their disputes with minimum resources and will make it hustle free. Conclusion This act being passed in recent times, there are still many provisions which are to be enforced under it. The NDIAC act will be fully functional in the near future which will be very beneficial to all the commercial businesses around the country. The bill has great potential to make functioning of businesses easy in India. The worry is about its implementation; once this bill is effectively implemented the government is expecting to see progress in the commercial business sector. REFERENCES: [1] The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act, 2019, No.17 of 2019, Act of Parliament, 2019 (India) [2] Parliament passes New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019, ( May 7th 2020, 12.04 PM) https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2019/07/19/parliament-passes-new-delhi-international-arbitration-centre-bill-2019/ [3] Cabinet approves New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill,2019
( May 7th 2020, 12.04 PM) https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1574071 [4] Ibid No. 3 [5] Ibid No. 3 [6] Supra No. 1 DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions as expressed in the Research Articles are solely of the author and any member of the Editorial team or the Founder, Co-Founder or other members of the website shall not be liable for the same.

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