High level committee set up to streamline arbitration mechanism

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) The Union government has constituted a high level committee to “analyse and review effectiveness of present arbitration mechanism” and streamline the process, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.

The committee, being headed by retired Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna, boasts of a number of prominent jurists as its members.

“It has been a priority of our government to make India a hub of arbitration and alternate dispute redressal mechanism, both national and international. We have taken various steps in this direction in the past which aim at minimising court intervention, bring down costs, fix timelines for disposal of cases, and ensure neutrality of arbitrator and enforcement of awards,” Prasad said.

“Now, we have constituted a high level committee to analyse review the effectiveness of present arbitration mechanism and other issues such as the working of arbitration institutions etc,” he added.

The committee also has former SC judge R. V. Raveendran, Delhi High Court judge Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha, senior SC advocates K.K. Venugopal and Indu Malhotra, and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy director Araghya Sengupta as its members.

Besides, the committee will have representatives from Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Prasad said.

Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs will work as the Member Secretary on the committee.

“We have requested them to submit their report in 90 days,” the Minister said.

He said that to ensure speedy resolution of commercial disputes and to facilitate effective conduct of international and domestic arbitrations, it has been considered necessary to examine various factors to accelerate arbitration mechanism and strengthen the arbitration ecosystem in the country.

“It is also important to examine specific issues and roadmap required to make India a robust centre for international and domestic arbitration,” Prasad said.

The committee would suggest measures to institutionalise arbitration mechanism in the country “so as to make India a hub of international commercial arbitration” and evolve an “efficient arbitration ecosystem for expeditious resolution” of international and domestic commercial disputes.

“It would identify amendments in other laws that are needed to encourage International Commercial Arbitration, devise an action plan for implementation of the law to ensure speedier arbitrations, recommend revision in institutional rules and regulations and advise empanelment of national and international arbitrators for time bound arbitral proceedings.

“The committee would also focus on the role of arbitrations in matters involving the government of India, including bilateral investment treaties arbitrations and make recommendations where necessary,” he said.