Settle disputes through arbitration: CJI

NEW DELHI NOV. 7. The Supreme Court Chief Justice, B.N. Kirpal, has called for settlement of disputes through Alternate Disputes Resolution methods in the context of huge arrears of cases for years.

Speaking at the colloquium on "Commercial arbitration — need for reforms," organised by the Indian Council of Arbitration — an allied body of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) — here on Wednesday, he welcomed the recent changes brought out in the Civil Procedure Code, particularly the insertion of Sec. 89.

Under the new scheme, if a court felt that the case before it was worth mediating, it would take the initiative and bring the parties to a settlement, he said, but felt that "bringing amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 is the negative step of the legislature. It is time to change the mindset and not change the arbitration law.''

In his special address, F.S. Nariman, Rajya Sabha MP and eminent lawyer, pointed out the criticality of understanding the ethos of arbitration by the retired judges who sit in arbitration. After the adoption of UNCITRAL model law of arbitration, where there was minimum intervention by court, India now needed good arbitrators, and if possible, a Special Arbitration Bar. Justice Manmohan Sarin, Judge of the Delhi High Court, stressed the need for an infrastructure where arbitrators of impeccable integrity and reputation were available.

The FICCI president, Chirayu R. Amin, said what the ADR movement "needs is not a supervisory role from courts, but a supportive role of assisting ADR mechanisms and procedures".

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