The new amendments in arbitration act are more purposeful and focussed to remove confusion and involve advancement. On 15th July 2019, in India, the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced by Justice Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister of Law in Rajyasabha. According to the new act, 2% higher interest than the existing rate will be appreciated by an arbitrator award. A senior arbitrator can be paid maximum ₹ 300,000 as fee as per the fourth schedule.
With each passing day the necessity of amending the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was unveiling. When it comes to law it should always be kept on improving. The newly amended bill for Arbitration act appreciates some changes but the complete lockdown due to COVID-19 has paused the process of practical implementation. The key features of Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 are,
- The Arbitration Council of India
Arbitration agreement (Amendment) Bill, 2019 demands to establish a separate and independent entity named Arbitration Council of India or ACI. This liberated body will promote mediation, conciliation act 2019, arbitration, and other substitute dispute redressal policies. The body will be functioning in the following areas,
- Maintaining policies for standardizing the arbitration institutes and authorizing the skilled arbitrators.
- Framing schemes for the formation, functionality, and maintenance procedures to handle dispute redressal issues.
- Establishing a repository for nourishing the arbitral awards executed in India or abroad.
- Composition of Arbitration Council of India
ACI will feature an administrator to monitor the activities. The chairperson can be any one of the following,
- Judge of the Supreme Court
- Judge of the High Court
- Chief Justice of any High Court
- A person with in-depth knowledge of Arbitration act 1996.
Else, the institution will appoint a renowned arbitration practitioner, Government appointees, and a reputed academician with solid knowledge regarding deep analysis of arbitration act 2019 along with years of experience.
- Assignation of Arbitrators
Before the amendment of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 the parties were given a free hand to appoint arbitrators. In case of any disagreement, either Supreme Court or High Court or any other entity with equivalent designation used to handle the matter. But under the new act, both the business parties appear to fix their arbitrator before signing a contract to heal disputes instantly, if any.
- Moderation of time deadline
Under the old act, Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 the Arbitration Tribunals were commanded to prepare the arbitration awards within a strict time limit of 12 months irrespective of types of arbitration procedures. But the newly amended bill implemented in 2019, appears to moderate the deadline, especially for international arbitrations matters. The Arbitration institutions should give their best efforts to ease the international commercial issues within 12 months.
- Accomplishing the written submission
Before the execution of the new act one must undergo arbitration act 1996 summery. There was no strict time limit for written submission of the arbitration files to the arbitral tribunal. According to the new amended act, the written file regarding the arbitration procedure must be finished within the six months after the engagement of the arbitrator.
- Confidentiality is the key
The new amended Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 demands that all the details of the arbitration process should be kept top-secret. However, in certain cases, the details of the arbitral award can be highlighted concerning special circumstances.
Key benefits of Arbitration when it comes to dispute resolving
- Swift paced: When a case visits the court for justice, banking on the gravity of the issue it takes a period of 6 to 30 years to access the conclusion. However, according to the new amendment in arbitration act the arbitrator is commanded to deliver award within a fixed period of 12 months from the date of appointment of the case. In this way, the plaintiff can expect to witness justice within the mentioned period.
- Elasticity: Elasticity or flexibility is the charisma of the new amendments in arbitration act, 2019. It gives a free hand to the petitioners to decide the process regarding the arbitration contract. The parties are free to give assent to an acceptable procedure relating to the issue.
- Confidentiality is maintained: If one requires maintaining ultimate privacy then hiring an arbitrator as per new amendments in arbitration act will work. This is entirely a private operation where only the nominated members of both parties will be in attendance. On the other hand, cases to be solved in the court will be questioned and operated in a public courtroom, where the risk of unveiling the dispute doesn’t eliminate. In such cases, the rumors can affect the brand image.
- Cost-effective: To be very honest, Arbitration is considered to be cheaper compared to litigation. This is because it takes less time in mending a dispute for an arbitrator than the court.
- The arbitrator: According to new amendments in arbitration act, 2019 the parties can select an arbitrator with in-depth knowledge of the matter. But in the court, a judge is appointed to solve the dispute with or without having experience of the special issue.
In the end, every citizens of India should abide by the rules and regulations fixed by the salient features of arbitration and conciliation act, 2019. The new amendments in arbitration act aim to ease the process of seeking justice for both domestic and commercial disputes. Hence, the plaintiffs should pay keen attention to the ins and outs of the matter before appealing for justice either to the court or an arbitrator.
How to define Arbitration?
To understand the arbitration and conciliation act in detail, one should learn the exact definition of Arbitration examples. Arbitration is nothing but resolving disputes outside the court by a third party. These ‘third party’ is a private body that offers experienced arbitrators to solve disagreements by negotiation. Businesses often try to avoid public interest litigation to protect brand image, in such cases, the arbitration process appears for dispute resolution without much disclosure. The parties are free to initiate the appointment of arbitrator as per mutual arbitration agreement even before the deal.
Arbitration in India appears to be an alluring offer for the young lawyers! How?
It is not mandatory for an arbitrator to be an attorney; even the retired magistrate can serve as an arbitrator. But in most of the cases, the young and effective arbitrators play a major role in solving property disputes. Arbitration act 2019 solves issues regarding commercial disputes, civil rights, property claimants, and more. The increased demand for both national and international cases has offered wide opportunities for young lawyers to become independent arbitrators.
Is arbitration different from common litigation? How?
- In public interest litigation, petitioners visit court for the settlement whereas arbitration refers to out of the court settlement.
- When it comes to litigation, civil, and criminal both types of issues are covered. But Arbitration mainly deals with civil matters related to business and commercial sectors.
- Litigation operates publicly whereas arbitration is a process to be handled privately.
- Litigation is time taking whereas arbitration operates quickly.
- In the litigation process, the plaintiff can take the matter to the higher court if not satisfied. But in arbitration, the final verdict will be given by the appointed arbitrator.
All about international arbitration
Different countries across the globe have embraced the arbitration process due to working flexibility. As it involves a huge amount of money most of the brands and businesses have started preferring arbitration processes to resolve disputes. However, unlike courts arbitration has no command or power over the issues without a valid contract from the parties. Hence businesses need to select an arbitrator under a particular jurisdiction. However, the court is empowered to make decisions in support of the arbitration act.