Law Ministry proposes to amend arbitration law
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 00:44
New Delhi: In a bid to upgrade the system of out-of-court settlements in the country to international standards and to remove long delays in resolving commercial disputes, the Law Ministry proposes to amend the relevant law.

According to the consultation paper prepared by the Ministry, major changes have been suggested in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 dealing with out-of-court settlement. The document will be released here on Thursday.

Now, any person being approached as an arbitrator will have to give a "no conflict of interest" declaration.

"The possible arbitrator shall disclose in writing any past or present relationship, either direct or indirect, financial, business, professional or social or relationship with any of the parties involved in the dispute," according to the consultation paper.

Retired judges taking up arbitration cases to settle mainly commercial disputes by charging a hefty fee may soon face fresh regulations, according to one of the proposals.

Seeking to institutionalise arbitration in India as per international standards and reduce the interference of courts in the process, the Law Ministry also proposes to amend the powers of courts to appoint arbitrators.

In case parties have not named an arbitrator, the Chief Justice -- instead of choosing an arbitrator -- may choose an institute and the institute will refer the matter to one or more arbitrators from their panel, the consultation paper said.

Earlier, the amended Arbitration Law was to be the part of the High Courts (Commercial Division) Bill, but the idea was dropped as the Ministry decided to hold consultations on the issue.

The High Courts (Commercial Division) Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha recently and was referred to the Standing Committee.


First Published: Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 00:44

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