Arbitration ecosystem vital for ease-of-doing-business: SC Justice V Ramasubramanian

For India, rising up the ladder of Ease of Doing Business is important to attract investment and propel growth.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

NEW DELHI: Improving arbitration ecosystem will have a positive impact on ease-of-doing-business, Supreme Court Justice V. Ramasubramanian said on Saturday.

"Measures have been taken in the direction. As a result, India has moved up many notches on the Ease of Doing Business Index. If conducive environment is created favoring arbitration, then it will definitely improve climate for investment," Justice Ramasubramanian told IANS here.

For India, rising up the ladder of Ease of Doing Business is important to attract investment and propel growth. In fact, the Centre has prioritised portraying India as a barrier-free destination for doing business.

A slew of measures have been taken in this direction, including proposed legislation in the form of New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill and the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill and establishing the Arbitration Council of India (ACI), which together aim at promoting India as hub of arbitration.

Justice Ramasubramanian said that institutions should be encouraged to become part of ACI as he asked, "how would people get to know what is actually good for them?"

The ACI is an independent body empowered to frame rules on grading institutions and also sets out norms on accreditation of - arbitrators, monitoring quality, and capacity building of arbitrators.

The Supreme Court judge added that third-party review of gradation will certainly help, and it is absolutely fair that certain people may not like this system. "Grading institutions is for the purpose of helping people take an informed decision... therefore, we should promote good arbitration institutions and help them to improve on the grading system," he said, while noting that the government has taken positive measures to improve India's reputation in terms of the arbitration system.

Justice Ramasubramanian interacted to IANS after addressing the International Arbitration Summit organized by Berkeley Global Society. He emphasized that speedy justice delivery is a vital factor in the judicial system, and cited several global arbitration centres which have become examples of repute.

When queried on resolving commercial disputes at the local, especially if a foreign company has set up a unit in rural area, Justice Ramasubramanian said there is already an existing judicial mechanism, and amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act is a move in the right direction.

Currently, a number of arbitral domestic and international institutions exist in the country, but none of them have global reputation. Addressing this reason, the Centre is promoting NDIAC. Justice Ramasubramanian emphasized on taking steps to make Indian arbitration centres competitive.

Enforcement of contracts and lengthy process of dispute resolution, is vital on consideration by potential investors.

Justice M.M. Sundresh, Madras High Court, said: "It is important to strengthen domestic arbitration environment, and institutionalizing it, as we have done in Madras High Court".

He said judicial reforms are far less in connection with the enforcement of contracts and dispute resolution.

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