Bills to speed up arbitration process in India get Rajya Sabha nod


Rajya Sabha, File Photo

Rajya Sabha, File Photo

Parliament on Thursday passed a bill to set up an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised domestic and international arbitration in India.

The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill, 2019, which seeks to replace an ordinance issued in March this year by the previous government, was passed by Rajya Sabha.

Under the Bill, undertakings of the International Centre For Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR) will be acquired and transferred to the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) with effect from March 2 this year

The Bill was already passed by Lok Sabha on July 10.

The Upper House also passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill Act, 2019 that seeks to make changes in the existing law of 1996. It will now go to Lok Sabha.

The Bill was earlier cleared by Lok Sabha on August 2018 but could not be passed by Rajya Sabha. The bill lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.

While replying to the debate in Rajya Sabha, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the changes in the law would help to make India a hub of domestic and international arbitration through a faster resolution of commercial disputes.

“This whole arbitration system is sought to be built in the context of the larger narrative to make India a good place for business, investment and also for dispute redressal,” he said.

Replying to members’ concern over government’s role in setting up of Arbitration council, Prasad said that the leading arbitration centres as Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and Hong Kong Arbitration Center flourished by support from their governments.

The minister said the government has implemented all key recommendations of the Justice BN Srikrishna committee that comprised leading legal experts.

On availability of arbitration professionals, he said that the country has a pool of experienced people required for that.

According to the minister, the institution would try to work out with expert arbitrators from various sectors, the Arbitration Council of India would only grade, accredit and review the arbitration centres and the arbitrators.