India has an estimated 31 million cases pending in various courts. As of 31.12.2015 there were 59,272 cases pending in the Supreme Court of India, around 3.8 million cases pending in the High Courts and around 27 million pending before the subordinate judiciary. 26% of cases, more than 8.5 million, are more than 5 years old. It has been estimated that 12 million Indians await trial in criminal cases throughout the country. On an average it takes twenty years for a real estate or land dispute to be resolved.
The dispute resolution process has a huge impact on the Indian economy and global perception on “doing business” in India. This is clearly indicated by World Bank rating on Ease Of Doing Business 2016 which has ranked India 131 out of 189 countries on how easy it is for private companies to follow regulations. The study notes that India takes as much as 1,420 days and 39.6% of the claim value for dispute resolution. This is higher than that of OECD countries as well as that of South Asia’s regional averages. Globally, India stands at 178 in the ranking of 189 economies on the ease of enforcing contracts. Russian Federation rank 5, China ranks 7 and Mexico rank 41.
Need for a vibrant Arbitration Act
With growing international commercial trade and agreements, international arbitration is growing manifold. To develop India as a global hub for international arbitration it is important that we open ourselves to the outside world and incorporate best practices for creating word class Institutional and legal procedure. Now India is embracing modern international commercial arbitration and mediation. As we all know, much of the remarkable growth of international commercial arbitration in recent years has taken place here in Asia. There is a global shift of the world’s economic pendulum towards Asia. Arbitration and ADR will follow the trend of global economy.
According to Mr. R. Ganapathi, President, SICCI welcomes the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015 which has brought about certain noteworthy modifications which would be critical in supporting international arbitration in the country. One of these is the provision permitting arbitral institutions to create their own rules consistent with the Act to ensure that arbitrations are swift and effective. India has diverse and useful human resources in law as well as other disciplines which can help support and sustain the domestic arbitration ecosystem in India. Legal reforms are certainly a step in the right direction to strengthen the arbitration. Needless to say, that regular amendment in the Arbitration laws to keep abreast with economic changes would be needed. However, given that India has already done the needful in this regard recently, the present need is reforms in the implementation of the legislative changes by the judiciary along with building of institutional capacity in the country.
Recently the new Bill titled “Arbitration & Conciliation Amendment Bill, 2018” had proposed to formulate Arbitration Council of India (ACI) to grade arbitration institution and enlist arbitrators in India.
Against the above backdrop, The SICCI Centre for ADR has been created and rules formulated which are tailor made for businesses. This centre was declared open by Hon’ble Mr. Justice T S Sivgnanam on Monday the 8th April 2019 at the SICCI premises, No 6 Esplanade, Chennai 600 108 Ph : 25342055