Arbitration Centre to settle cases out of court
The legal fraternity’s continuing effort to encourage alternative dispute resolution took a new shape on Sunday with the High Court setting up an ‘Arbitration Centre, Karnataka’ which is aimed at offering legal services to cases that can be dealt out of court.
Inaugurating the centre, which is situated on Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road, Supreme Court Chief Justice Altamas Kabir likened arbitration centres to “safety valves of a pressure cooker” without which the cooker would burst due to pressure building up.
“Commercial litigation, especially, is a time consuming affair. The return of summons in a civil court will sometimes take 6 months due to pending cases. Resolving the dispute can stretch up to 20 years. It is not possible for one judge to deal with more than 30 cases in a day. This is where mechanisms like Arbitration Centres gain importance,” he observed. Justice Kabir also pointed out that big business houses are shifting disputes for alternate resolutions to countries such as Singapore and Russia for arbitration due to the lack of service here.
“It so happens that the pronounced award is often based on the context that particular country. This centre in Bangalore will be of great benefit to the citizens,” he said and encouraged the government to assist in establishing such centres in every district in the state, apart from the existing mediation centres.
This is one of the two such centres in the country, with the first one in New Delhi. The Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court will be the Patron-in-Chief for this Arbitration Centre.
The body will be governed by a Board of Governors, including five sitting Judges of the High Court. The President of the Board will be the senior-most Judge.
The litigants will have to pay a fee ranging between `50,000 and `8 lakh, depending upon the nature of their case. The decision arrived at by such intervention will be legally binding on the parties involved.
High Court Chief Justice D H Waghela said the team would now focus on publicising the services of the centre.
Judge K L Manjunath is the President of the Arbitration Centre. The Centre has six rooms, a canteen and separate lounges for visitors, advocates and arbitrators, as well as a digital library and video conference facilities.