Expert committee submits final report on arbitration reforms

  • The 16-member panel led by former law secretary Dr T.K. Viswanathan had been constituted in June last year

Priyanka Gawande
Published15 Feb 2024, 12:47 AM IST
Under arbitration, the parties concerned, instead of approaching the courts, opt for private dispute resolution through arbitrators. The decision of the arbitrators is binding.
Under arbitration, the parties concerned, instead of approaching the courts, opt for private dispute resolution through arbitrators. The decision of the arbitrators is binding.

Mumbai: An expert committee set up by the Centre on reforms in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, submitted its final report to the government on Wednesday. The committee led by former law secretary Dr T.K. Viswanathan had been constituted in June last year to examine the working of the arbitration law in the country and to recommend reforms to it.

The 16-member expert panel, set up by the ministry of law and justice, includes Behram Vakil, a partner at law firm AZB Partners; additional solicitor general N. Venkatraman; Shardul Shroff, a partner at law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas; representatives from the Department of Economic Affairs, Niti Aayog and public Indian industries, and various other senior legal counsels.

The Centre had also floated a consultation paper in June seeking recommendations on a framework of a model arbitration system that was efficient, effective and economical, and catered to the requirements of users. Additionally, it proposed a framework on the cost of arbitration and the fees charged by arbitrators.

Pertinently, the committee was also asked to suggest changes in the law to enhance the arbitration process by reducing court intervention, improving cost-effectiveness while ensuring timely resolution.

Under arbitration, the parties concerned, instead of approaching the courts, opt for private dispute resolution through arbitrators. The decision of the arbitrators is binding.

Separately, several petitions on the legality of decisions made under Section 11 of the act, including whether an individual ineligible to designate an arbitrator can do so, are being heard by a constitution bench of the Supreme Court. The arbitrators' appointment is outlined in Section 11. The matter has been languishing before the top court for a while now.

The Supreme Court had earlier said that once the final report of the committee was ready, it was to be submitted to the bench and the advocates appearing for the parties before 15 February.

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First Published:15 Feb 2024, 12:47 AM IST
HomePoliticsPolicyExpert committee submits final report on arbitration reforms

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