New Delhi, Dec 9: Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra on Saturday called for shift towards institutional arbitration which should both timely and cost effective for making India a sought-after arbitration centre.
He said that there is “need” and “purpose” as well for shifting towards the institutional arbitration.
“…the shift has to be towards institutional arbitration, there is a need and there is a purpose. When you are handling a complex economy, there has to be a structural adjudication of disputes,” Chief Justice Misra said in his inaugural address at the “International Conference: Arbitration in the Era of Globalisation”.
The daylong conference was organised by the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
“I must say I am in favour of institutional arbitration like ICA, MCA and whatever they are having throughout the country …” he said.
Underlining the importance of arbitration in settling the commercial deputes, Chief Justice said: “In the US, UK and other progressive countries, they have realised and we have also realised that the best way to serve commercial disputes are not the court litigation… there has to be an alternate dispute resolution system.”
He said that India has to grow to have its “own arbitral system” – so that the people from other jurisdictions look towards India for arbitration of their disputes.
However, in a caveat, Chief Justice Misra said that “an essential element of a robust arbitration system would be ensuring minimum interference and maximum executability”.
Pointing to a linkage between timely and efficient arbitration and flow of overseas investments, he said: “A stage has come where investment can come when we can really inculcate faith among the investors that we have a very good, excellent arbitration system.”
In his welcome address, ICA president N.G. Khaitan said that while India has improved in ease of doing business ranking but it still “ranks low on enforcing contracts”.
“The cost of enforcing contracts in India at 31 per cent is way higher than 10 to 15 per cent prevalent in developed nations,” he said.
Echoing the CJI’s views on the need to promote institutional arbitration, Khaitan stressed on having an inbuilt arbitration clause in bilateral investment treaties.
He favoured permitting foreign arbitrators to operate in the country while limiting the number of arbitration cases an arbitrator can take in a year, as this, he said, would help speedy disposal of cases.
In his concluding remarks, Ficci Secretary General Sanjaya Baru said: “We would like to bring whatever (arbitration) is done currently around the world, back home.”
At the same time, we have to grow as an attractive destination for other overseas companies as well, he added.