Arbitration is the best-suited dispute resolution mechanism for the globalised world and a time-bound process structured to deliver immediate relief, Chief Justice N V Ramana said on Saturday.
Ramana, who spoke at the fourth edition of the international conference on "arbitration in the era of globalisation" in Dubai, said a prerequisite for achieving globalisation in true sense is ensuring universal respect for the rule of law.
"Trust in the globalised world can only be built by creating institutions with a strong emphasis on the rule of law. Rule of law and arbitration are not in conflict with one another. Both arbitration and judicial adjudication aim to serve the same goal the pursuit of justice. Indian courts are known for their pro-arbitration stance. Courts in India assist and support arbitration, and leave the substantive part of adjudication to the arbitral tribunal itself," he said.
"A crucial component of attracting investors is providing a stable and efficacious mechanism for redressal of disputes. The legislature, executive and the judiciary of India at all levels are committed to improving the arbitration landscape and the ease of doing business in the country. The Commercial Courts Act enacted by the Indian Parliament led to further streamlining and speedy dispensation of justice in commercial matters," the CJI said.
Ramana said that promoting a culture of arbitration is not a simple task and having a pro-arbitration jurisprudence and policy is not enough.
"Some innovative steps must be taken in this regard. After examining various cases, I find that governments and parties often take the stand that the agreement initially entered into is void or incapable of execution because it is against public policy or against law. To avoid such belated objections, it is high time to evolve some special mechanisms", Justice Raman said.
"One such special mechanism could be pre-vetting by a specially constituted authority of the State, prior to the parties entering into any commercial or investment agreement. No way am I suggesting that such a step is mandatory. It would be completely voluntary. Such a vetting process would, of course, be subject to the consent of the contracting parties," he said.
Ramana said this would ensure fewer disputes arising at the execution stage on the nature and sanctity of the agreement and on public policy grounds.
"I think it is high time to have detailed deliberations on this issue. I request the panellists to discuss and come up with new ideas and possible solutions," he said, and suggested a few essential pre-requisites for arbitration to be effective and successful.
The CJI said several international dispute resolution institutions are being established across India to provide the commercial world speedy and effective resolution of their disputes.
"Recently, I, along with my brother and sister judges sitting here and a few other eminently qualified professionals, have been involved in the setting up of an International Arbitration and Mediation Centre located in Hyderabad, Telangana. The state of Telangana has been very encouraging and supportive of this endeavour. Through this institution, we are looking to create an independent body which is self-sufficient and delivers to the international standards", Chief Justice said.
"The government of India also made a provision in the latest budget for setting up of an arbitration centre in the state of Gujarat. I strongly believe that there is a lot of potential for setting up of such new centres. To meet the increasing demands, they will have to cooperate rather than compete," he said.
Ramana expressed hope that the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and the international arbitration centres in India will cooperate and share information and knowledge.
With PTI inputs