Bill to fortify arbitration framework introduced in Rajya Sabha

Prasad added that one of the proposals being looked at, was the companies launching 4G services. Currently, neither of BSNL or MTNL have spectrum to deploy 4G. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

A bill aimed at improving institutional arbitration in the country was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Monday by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeks to make India a hub of domestic and global arbitration for settling commercial disputes. It provides for settlement of commercial disputes within six months, among other measures.

Successive governments have been pushing to make India a centre of domestic and international arbitration.

A previous version of the Bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha in August 2018, but could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. The new Bill, which amends the 1996 Act, seeks to provide for a robust mechanism to deal with institutional disputes and ensures accountability of the arbitrator. The amendments will help establish an independent body to lay down standards, make the arbitration process more friendly and cost-effective, and ensure timely disposal of cases.

It provides for setting up an independent body the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) to set up a framework for creating arbitral institutions and accrediting arbitrators by laying down norms. The ACI would be mandated to frame rules on how institutions would be graded, norms to be followed, and monitoring of quality and performance.