Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism – NCA, Lok Adalats, etc.

Jan, 08, 2019

Lok Sabha passes New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill 2018

Mains level: Arbitration mechanism in India – pros, cons, challenges and way forward


News

  • The Lok Sabha has passed the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill 2018.

 Propositions of the Bill New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill

  1. The Bill aims for creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalized arbitration and their better management so as to make it a hub for institutional arbitration.
  2. It will replace the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution set-up in the year 1995, which is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act.
  3. It is based on the opinion of the High Powered Committee appointed by the Centre that the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution has failed to address the growing needs of the institutional arbitration.

Composition

  1. The proposed New Delhi International Arbitration Centre will be a statutory body.
  2. It will consist of:
  • Chairperson,
  • Two eminent persons having substantial knowledge in international and domestic arbitration,
  • One representative of a recognized body of commerce,
  • Secretary to the Ministry of Law & Justice and
  • Finance Advisor and a Chief Executive Officer.

Eligibility Criteria for Members

  1. The Chairperson should have been a judge of the Supreme Court or High Court, or an eminent person having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration.
  2. He will be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
  3. The two eminent persons and the representative of commerce body are to be appointed by the Central Government.

Objectives of the Arbitration Centre

  • to bring targeted reforms to develop itself as a flagship institution for conducting international and domestic arbitration;
  • to promote research and study, providing teaching and training, and organising conferences and seminars in arbitration, conciliation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution matters;
  • to provide facilities and administrative assistance for conciliation, mediation and arbitral proceedings;
  • to maintain panels of accredited arbitrators, conciliators and mediators both at national and international level or specialists such as surveyors and investigators;
  • to collaborate with other national and international institutions and organisations for ensuring credibility of the Centre as a specialised institution in arbitration and conciliation;
  • to set-up facilities in India and abroad to promote the activities of the Centre;
  • to lay down parameters for different modes of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms being adopted by the Centre

Assist this newscard with the op-ed given below:

[op-ed snap] Pushing institutional arbitration in India

Jul, 27, 2018

[op-ed snap] A parallel injustice system

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization & functioning of the Executive & the Judiciary

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Vishwa Lochan Madan versus Union of India and Others case and its significance in diminishing parallel justice system in India


Context

Advocating Sharia courts

  1. Many people have advocated the concept of Sharia courts in recent past
  2. They claim that Sharia courts are mere arbitration centres and not a parallel judicial system

Huge difference between the two 

  1. Mediation and arbitration centres are very different from Sharia courts
  2. In the case of arbitration/mediation, an issue can be referred only when both the parties agree to it and choose their own counsellors
  3. They don’t have judges(qazis) but counsellors who settle the disputes by consulting both the parties

International operations argument is flawed

  1. Sharia courts are operational in the UK, Israel and other countries
  2. This claim is not relevant to the current issue in India
  3. In the UK, for example, Sharia councils and not Sharia courts are operational which provide advice to those Muslims who voluntarily choose to use them to resolve civil and family disputes

Presence in India

  1. Sharia courts are operational in Bihar and other states
  2. An argument is put forward that their decisions are never challenged by the people
  3. If the orders of Sharia courts are not challenged, this doesn’t show the acceptance of people
  4. It shows how the Muslim associations have successfully misled the common people to believe these bodies are courts and if they do not follow their orders, it would be anti-Islamic

SC decision on the issue

  1. There is also a claim that the Supreme Court never declared Sharia courts unconstitutional
  2. This too is a false claim.
  3. In Vishwa Lochan Madan versus Union of India and Others in 2005, the Supreme Court held that: “In any event, the decision or the Fatwa issued by whatever body being not emanating from any judicial system recognised by law, it is not binding on anyone including the person, who had asked for it
  4. Further, such an adjudication or Fatwa does not have a force of law and, therefore, cannot be enforced by any process using coercive methods
  5. Any person trying to enforce that by any method shall be illegal and has to be dealt with in accordance with law.”

Alternative way for India

  1. Even if both the parties agree to settle their disputes outside the court, these bodies can be called Sharia councils or arbitration centres but under no circumstances can they be called Sharia courts
  2. Also, if these bodies are to be given this power to settle disputes outside the court, this decision has to come from Parliament by proper legislation and not by a private entity like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)

Way Forward

  1. All claims put in favour of Sharia courts are baseless
  2. It is an attempt to mislead the common man and improve the image of this parallel judicial system in the country, which is a threat to the rule of law
Mar, 09, 2018

Cabinet nod for 2 bills to improve dispute resolution process

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms & institutions

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2018, The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill 2018

Mains level: Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism in India


News

Strengthening the dispute resolution process

  1. The Cabinet has approved two Bills to be introduced in Parliament aimed at speeding up and strengthening the dispute resolution process in the country

Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2018

  1. It is a part of the efforts of the Government to encourage institutional arbitration for the settlement of disputes
  2. It aims to make India a center of robust Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism
  3. Bill will establish an independent body—the Arbitration Council of India (ACI)
  4. It will lay down standards, make arbitration process more party friendly, cost-effective, and ensure timely disposal of arbitration cases
  5. The Chairperson of ACI shall be a person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice or Judge of any High Court or any eminent person

The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill 2018

  1. It seeks to bring down the specified value of a commercial dispute to ₹3 lakh from the present ₹1 crore
  2. Now commercial disputes of a “reasonable value” can be decided by commercial courts
  3. This would bring down the time taken (presently 1,445 days) in the resolution of commercial disputes of lesser value and thus further improve India’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business
  4. Bill provides for the establishment of commercial courts at the district judge level for the territories over which the respective High Courts have ordinary original civil jurisdiction—Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and the state of Himachal Pradesh
Aug, 11, 2016

SC thwarted in its constitutional objective- II

  1. The SC verdict refers to a speech by sitting Supreme Court judge, Justice J. Chelameswar, in 2014 about the decline in the stature of a Supreme Court inundated by routine appeals
  2. HC certificate: Parties ignore the fact that a certificate of the High Court is required to appeal to the Supreme Court
  3. Exception is the rule: Only in exceptional circumstances would the Supreme Court admit a case without the High Court’s certificate but the exception has become the rule now
  4. Result: More and more unsuccessful people are encouraged to have another go at it by approaching the Supreme Court
Aug, 11, 2016

SC thwarted in its constitutional objective- I

  1. SC: The rush of humdrum commercial and private appeals had thwarted the Supreme Court’s constitutional objective to hear matters of only national and public interest
  2. Strength: Even an increase in the sanctioned strength of Supreme Court judges to 31 has not helped because they are busy hearing routine cases at the cost of pending constitutional matters
  3. Post 1990s phenomena: The judgment endorsed former Solicitor-General T.R. Andhyarujina’s view that the Supreme Court started losing its character after 1990, when it began entertaining cases of all kinds
  4. Context: SC is hearing a petition for setting up National Courts of Appeal with regional benches to hear civil and criminal appeals
Apr, 27, 2016

Govt. cautions judiciary on NCA

  1. Context: Issue on setting up of National Court of Appeal
  2. Attorney General: NCA will add one more level of adjudication
  3. It will not help to decrease litigation
  4. It will mean more expense and hardship to the litigant
  5. Article 136: Power provided under this should be invoked only in exceptional cases
  6. Bifurcation of juriciary through NCA is a constitutional
Apr, 25, 2016

Legal system too expensive for most Indians: Survey

  1. Context: The nationwide Access to Justice survey by DAKSH, a civil society organisation
  2. Cost: 90% of the litigants in the country earn less than Rs. 3 lakh a year and the median expected cost of litigation for them is around Rs. 16,000
  3. Legal aid:  Though it aims to provide free legal services to the poor, just 1% of the respondents were making use of this service
  4. Accountability of legal aid lawyers towards their clients and lack of communication between the two are serious concerns plaguing the system
  5. Finance: The main reason individuals could not meet the conditions of bail was found to be lack of funds
Apr, 15, 2016

Supreme Court located too far North for litigants from South

  1. Context: Constitutional Bench hearing on the issue of establishing National Courts of Appeal
  2. Amicus curie argument: The Supreme Court is situated in the far North in Delhi
    Litigants from the southern States find it unduly long and expensive to come here in search of justice
  3. CJI Thakur: Isn’t access to justice a fundamental right for all? Does this mean access to justice has become an illusion for people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu?
  4. The Centre had no suggestions to offer yet, on the issue
Mar, 16, 2016

SC to set up Constitution Bench to debate formation of National Court of Appeal

  1. Context: A Chennai lawyer had filed a petition for setting up a National Court of Appeal
  2. News: The Supreme Court decided to set up a 5-judge Constitution Bench to debate the establishment of a National Court of Appeal
  3. Attorney General expressed that it was not possible or desirable to have a National Court of Appeal
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