President advocates reforms to strengthen arbitration framework

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) Institutional arbitration is still not widespread in India, said President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday and called for basic reforms to strengthen the countrys arbitration framework.

Inaugurating a three-day global conference on “National Initiative Towards Strengthening Arbitration and Enforcement in India” at the Vigyan Bhavan here, Mukherjee said the government needs to create an enabling framework for institutional arbitration in India.

“Unfortunately, unlike advanced jurisdictions, institutional arbitration is still not widespread in India. Ad hoc arbitration is the norm,” said Mukherjee observing that there is a huge untapped potential for growth of institutional arbitration in India.

“Both domestic and international arbitral institutions have to play a proactive role in shaping this market,” he said.

“While India has the basic legal and physical infrastructure to support international arbitrations, we would need basic institutional reforms to strengthen our arbitration framework,” he added.

Mukherjee said that arbitral institutions needed to partner with the Indian legal profession to expand their footprint.

“Arbitral institutions need to proactively nurture and expand the pool of arbitrators to include subject matter expertise in sectors like infrastructure, energy, finance, etc. This will in the long run help build confidence in the arbitration ecosystem of India,” said the President.

He also said that Indian courts need to devise an administrative mechanism to ensure that arbitration matters are handled separately and efficiently, so as to avoid any delay arising out of judicial intervention.

“State intervention in a market economy should be limited to situations of market failure — where the market left to itself cannot work out a solution. Private commercial disputes are not market failures by themselves.”

“They can be resolved by the private parties on their own and businesses will continue,” he said.

“Therefore, the government needs to create an enabling framework for institutional arbitration in India,” added Mukherjee.

–IANS

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