Chief Justice bats for modern arbitration regime

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur on Friday called for a modern and state-of-the-art arbitration regime to bolster India’s foreign investment future.

Addressing the three-day Global Conference on National Initiative towards strengthening arbitration and enforcement in India, which began here on Friday, Justice Thakur said that an arbitration-friendly environment is essential for attracting legal tourism.

“Promoting institutional arbitration will help India emerge as a preferred destination for arbitral adjudication. Studies show that foreign investors consider India as a preferred foreign portfolio investment amongst the emerging markets,” he said.

“Investment future looks promising provided we are ready to deliver dispute resolution to the satisfaction of the foreign investing partners,” the Chief Justice said.

India can achieve this by equipping itself with modern and state-of-the-art arbitration regime powered by legislative support and judicial deference towards arbitral adjudications, especially foreign seated arbitral awards, recognition and effective implementation, said Justice Thakur.

He also said that the perception of Indian courts interfering with arbitral awards is fast changing.

“In some quarters, there is a perception that courts in this country interfere with arbitral awards more than courts in other jurisdictions do. This perception should no longer persist given some recent path-breaking pronouncements towards making India an arbitration-friendly destination,” said Justice Thakur.

He said the Supreme Court judgment in the Bharat Aluminium Company Vs Kaiser Technical Services, also known as the BALCO case, “set the tone for India to compete globally in practising greater judicial deference towards foreign-seated arbitration”.

“There cannot be any better time for India to expand its global outreach to attract legal tourism by investing in its arbitration-friendly environment and also by ensuring world-class infrastructural facilities,” added Justice Thakur.