“There’s a demand to eliminate the discrimination of domestic the challenge of arbitration award and challenge of foreign awards,” says Krishan Singhania, Managing Partner, Singhania & Co Advocates and Solicitors. He was participating in a panel discussion at BW Global Legal Summit 2019 on Thursday in New Delhi. The topic discussed was "How can India become the biggest arbitration hub in Asia?".
Tarun Nangia, Associate Editor (special projects), NewsX pointed out to the different yardstick adopted by Indian businessmen when it comes to Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. "Indian businessmen believe in setting up their businesses in India but for the legal issues prefer countries like Singapore, Paris, London and Stockholm. Why?, ask Nangia."
Singapore is considered as the biggest arbitration hub in Asia but India has been working towards it to achieve the same. Currently, the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 is the key law governing arbitration in India which regulating domestic arbitration. One of the major difference between Indian and western judiciary system is how India prioritizes arbitration. An arbitration case begins by 11 AM and ends by 5 PM every day. On the contrary, arbitration is considered part-time among the professionals in India as it begins post the court sessions, the panelists felt.
Nilesh Tribhuvann, Managing Partner, White & Brief pointed to one of the loopholes in the act that he came across. "Though the act suggest to close the arbitration in a fixed time period but due to the call of witnesses during the arbitration, it pushes the procedure for another 6 months to take permission," he said.
Amit Kapur, Senior Partner, Jyoti Sagar Associates concluded the discussion by saying, “Arbitrator’s world has to be embracing and accepting the people from both public and private sector, academia and experts across the wall” to ameliorate the arbitration in India.