Arbitration Centre must cater to common man: CJI



Bangalore: An Arbitration Centre must speedily redress cases not just of the rich and the corporate houses but also the common man, Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on Sunday said.

"Arbitration centre is meant for the speedy redressal of cases of not just the rich and the business houses but also the ordinary person. This is something we need to stress", he said after unveiling the second Arbitration Centre in India here.

The Centre answers to the need of corporate houses wherein a number of Indian business matters were being heard in Arbitration Centres abroad like Singapore or Moscow.

The fact that redressal of cases will be time bound within a period of 90-120 days and the fee charged by the Arbitrator has been made specific, not exceeding Rs 8 lakh will make such Centres more meaningful, Justice Kabir said.

Arbitration Centre is a place where people will not only get speedy solutions for their problems but is also one of the ways in which the calendar of courts can be made less burdensome, the Chief Justice said.

Highlighting the need for such an alternate dispute resolution mechanism to address the problems of pendency of cases, the Chief Justice compared an Arbitration Centre to "safety valve of a pressure cooker which if not there, will result in bursting of the cooker because of the pressure building up".

Going down memory lane, Justice Kabir recalling his experience in trial and high courts, said "litigation, particularly commercial litigation can be a time consuming affair. When I was practising, there were times when return of summons in such cases could take six months or even two to three years".

An Arbitrator will have to deal with not more than five cases, he stressed. Justice Vikramajit Sen, Supreme Court judge and former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, who was instrumental in establishment of this Centre here said the Centre would focus on speedy resolution of disputes.

Justice HL Dattu, the Supreme Court judge, appealed to the legal fraternity to ensure that the Centre also caters to the general public, especially the lower middle class.

Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Justice DH Waghela, emphasised the need to popularise and publicise such centres and described the Centre as "one of its kind in South Asia".

Advocate General S Vijay Shankar said he would extend all cooperation for the expanding the horizons of the Arbitration Centre and such allied institutions.

Justice KL Manjunath, president, Arbitration Centre-Karnataka, said the Centre would entertain all arbitration clauses.

Justice Dattu released the book "Arbitration Centre - Karnataka (Domestic & International) Rules, 2012" and Justice V Gopala Gowda,Supreme Court judge, launched the website of the Centre.

PTI