Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre: A New Avenue

Harsh Mangal,

Research Intern,

Internationalism.

The establishment of court-annexed International Arbitration Centre has been approved by J&K High Court, on 19th September 2020. In furtherance to this, the Arbitration Committee for the centre has been constituted, in the first week of October 2020, by the Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Geeta Mittal[1]. Justice Geeta Mittal constituted the committee, exercising her powers as Chief Justice under Rule 3 of Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (Internal Management) Rules, 2020[2]. This article analyses the importance of alternative dispute resolution and the need for Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC). In India, we have seen the overburdened condition of the courts, because cases keep piling up, making the process slower than it already is. If the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution opts-in India, then the disputes could be resolved without even going to court by the method of arbitration. Moving to court and seeking justice is also an expensive process, which many people in India could not afford. So, submission of the matter to an arbitrator, in order to resolve the dispute between both the parties, after hearing both the sides properly and without any bias, is considered to be a much-required middle way by the legal fraternity.

Approval of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, for setting up Arbitration Centers at Jammu and Srinagar, is a great development for the growth of arbitration culture in India, as this step would help in providing an institutionalized framework for arbitration and would also help in formalizing the process, which could further result into resolution of disputes timely and more efficiently.

In India, Section 89 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908[3] already provides for such alternative methods for the applicants, but this facility remains highly inactive in most of the parts of India, including Jammu and Kashmir. Reason for this could be that Section 89 does not bind the courts to necessarily provide for arbitration in order to resolve a dispute. In places like Jammu and Kashmir, there is no detailed framework for arbitration or resolving the disputes outside the court. So, this decision of Jammu and Kashmir High Court would help in formalizing the rules for arbitration making it an active method of resolution for people. Non-availability of such facilities has impacted the whole system, as aggrieved parties do not get speedy justice and it also increases the burden of the courts.

Now, finally, the rules have been formulated for the composition of such centres. The Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court will be the Patron-in-Chief of Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Center, and the Arbitration Committee consists of, three judges from the High Court, Advocate General, Assistant Solicitor General, and three members nominated by Chief Justice are-

  1. Mr. Gaurav Pachnanda, Senior Advocate

  2. Mr. Abhinav Bhushan, Regional Director of South Asia, ICC Arbitration and ADR, ICC International Court of Arbitration[4], Singapore

  3. Mr. Moazzam Khan, Advocate, Head Global Litigation, Nishith Desai Associates.

Therefore, it is expected that these centres would be of great use for the litigants and aggrieved parties, and people would be aware of these facilities on a much larger scale, fulfilling the purpose of this development.

Arbitration is a very useful way of solving the dispute outside the court, and we hope that Jammu And Kashmir International Arbitration Center (JKIAC) would be successful in achieving its objectives, and will show positive results in the favor of litigants, as we have seen in Delhi, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Cuttack, and Chennai.

References

[1] https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/chief-justice-gita-mittal-of-jk-hc-constitutes-arbitration-committee-for- court-annexed-international-arbitration-centre-163936 [2] https://www.legaleraonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/JKIAC-Internal-Management-Rules.pdf [3] https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/2191/1/A1908-05.pdf [4] https://iccwbo.org/dispute-resolution-services/icc-international-court-arbitration/

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