Nachman of Breslov has very gracefully quoted, Arbitration is justice blended with charity. Arbitration in India has been a gravitating topic in these years. With the courts stacked up with numerous unsolved cases, Alternative Dispute Resolution methods have been actively opted to resolve disputes. Among all the available methods under ADR, arbitration is the one to catch the limelight the most.
Arbitration in simple terms is a method of dispute settlement and of developing a solution agreeable to all the involved parties. The most basic objective is to end the dispute with a win-win situation. India has more than 35 Arbitration institutes is potentially seen as the next hub of international arbitration. India where at one hand is actively looking forward to taking the title, there are some stumbling blocks in the way which are needed to be addressed.
Tracing the history of arbitration in India, its mention can be fined since the Vedic times where the arbitration was quite frequent. Following this, there were legislations introduced in the British era which laid the foundations of arbitration as a realizable legal method. The Arbitration Act of 1940 was the foremost specifically applied act on arbitration in India. Despite few shortcomings in the act, the prevalence of arbitration had gradually grown over the years. Finally, the Arbitration and Conciliation act of 1996 was enacted which is presently applied.
Why arbitration has caught the trend?
The affordability, expedition, procedural flexibility, and convenience of the process make it one of the popular dispute resolution methods. The actual surge in the importance of arbitration has a direct link to the corporate world. Companies focus on saving time and money on legal engagements to make their business operations smooth and without hindrances. Arbitration ticks all these checkboxes and has become the most preferred choice of dispute resolution in this sphere.
In the ‘Ease of Doing Business index, India has been constantly making improvements in the rankings. India was ranked 63 in 2020 index, 13 positions higher than the previous year. This is much higher when compared to the year 2016 when India was ranked at position 131. Dispute resolution is one of the most weighted parameters in the index. Experts strongly suggest that the developments in the laws and concepts of arbitration can be credited for these accomplishments.
The recent amendments in the years 2021 and 2020 have added to the glory by addressing some concerns. India has looked forward to making itself more competent in the front of arbitration. Tracking the fundamental developments, this seems achievable and the days are not far when India will proudly acclaim the suggested title of international Hub of Arbitration.
Some Concerns and way ahead
India to pace the journey towards making arbitration flawless needs to take stronger approaches in some related areas. The infrastructure needs to be developed by increased directed investments in the institutions. The number of arbitrators is still insufficient to take ahead the plans.
Arbitrators should be trained well making them skilled enough to come up with unbiased and thoughtful results of the process. The efficiency can be increased by validating evidence and witnesses in the process. Apart from these measures the redeeming features of the arbitration need to be kept intact.