Courts are increasingly interfering in awards passed by arbitrators, frustrating the very purpose of having an alternative dispute resolution system, Supreme Court former Judge SS Nijjar said.
In his keynote address at a seminar on ‘International arbitration in India: Changes & Challenges’, organized jointly by Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA) and FICCI, Nijjar said arbitration should be the mainstream dispute mechanism.
“If India is to be seen as a country having a mature and efficacious arbitration regime, arbitration should be treated as an independent mechanism,” Nijjar said. He suggested a change in the mindset and a paradigm shift amongst all the stakeholders to see functioning of arbitration as an effective arbitration resolution process.
“The amendments to the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 are salutary with an aim to make India an attractive investment destination, but it may not be possible to adhere to all the strict standards prescribed,” Nijjar said.
Noting that amendments to the Arbitration Act could boost investor confidence in India, the former Supreme Court judge advocated rigorous adoption of the amendments for better international arbitration practices, for making India a global investor hub.
Nijjar appealed to consumers of arbitration to look at institutional arbitration as way forward rather than arbitration done in an ad-hoc manner and the lawyers to work towards making it a full time profession if “we have to emerge as the prominent arbitration hub.”