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Delhi Set To Become Global Hub For Commercial Arbitration‬

There is a news that Government of India is planning to start an Arbitration hub seated in Delhi. When asked for comments Mr S Ravi Shankar an arbitration lawyer and Senior Partner of Law Senate law firm said so far the government of India has not released any detail on this proposal. But he welcomed the move of Government of India to have an arbitration hub in Delhi and said such a proposal will surely help speedy resolution of the commercial disputes. But he further stated that such a move will succeed if the following points are taken in to consideration by the legislators:

Arbitration Appellate tribunal:  Today each and every Arbitral award passed in India are challenged in the courts in India and appeals are taken upto Supreme Court of India. Even though arbitrations come to an end in a shorter period ( 12 months as per the new Act) but the challenge proceedings delay the enforcement by a minimum of a couple of years. The challenge proceedings in domestic matters start from the level of District courts and go upto Supreme Court of India. Hence the Government should establish tribunals for handling challenge to arbitration awards and appeal over the tribunal order should directly go to Supreme Court of India. Such a model will help speedy disposal of the challenge proceedings since many of the district judges are treating such proceedings like first appeals in civil matters. This will reduce the challenge procedure and reduce the burden of District and High Courts. 

Emergency arbitrator provision: Internationally there are big difficulties in enforcing court orders. Hence getting an interim order from a court sitting in the seat of arbitration before arbitration tribunal is formed and enforcing it in another country is mostly very difficult. To get the benefit of New York convention on Recognition and Enforcement of foreign awards, the interim order also has to be in the form of an Arbitral award.  Hence internationally appointing a neutral person (Emergency arbitrator) to deal with the interim protection applications by a party,  before the formation of the Arbitral tribunal, is in practice. But unfortunately our Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 does not recognise that. Hence the government should come forward to incorporate a provision for emergency arbitrator in the Arbitration Act of India. 

Mr Ravi Shankar further said that these two changes will take India to great heights in the field of arbitration.