Chief Justice of India NV Ramana executed the trust deed of the centre, which will resolve domestic disputes between local investors, and international arbitrations.

Chief Justice of India NV RamanaFile Photo/PTI
news Judiciary Friday, August 20, 2021 - 18:16

Hyderabad is set to soon become the first city in India to establish an International Arbitration and Mediation Centre. The trust deed of the International Center for Commercial Arbitration and Mediation in Hyderabad was executed on Friday, August 20 by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, who said he had proposed the idea to Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court Hima Kohli back in June. Noting that investors wish for litigations to be resolved peacefully, without huge expenses and time delays, the CJI said that the arbitration centre is a step towards strengthening the judiciary. “I never thought that my dream would come true within a period of three months,” he said, thanking the Telangana government and Chief Justice Hima Kohli. He also mentioned that the centre would resolve domestic disputes between local investors, and not just international arbitrations. 

Calling the centre a brainchild of CJI Ramana, Telangana Minister for Industry and Commerce KT Rama Rao said the centre was a matter of pride for Hyderabad. “With three Telugu judges in the Supreme Court, Hyderabad is lucky and proud to get this opportunity,” he said, adding that investors looking to come to Hyderabad were concerned not just about ease of doing business, but also proper, speedy dispute redressal mechanisms in case of litigation.

Supreme Court judge Justice L Nageswara Rao, who will be a life member of the trust, said it was “a solemn occasion for the start of a new era in arbitration.” “With the myriad problems we have in delay in disposal of cases, and the cost involved in disputes in courts, alternate dispute resolution is one mechanism which has been in place for a long number of years,” he said, adding that even ad hoc arbitrations face problems of delay and expense, warranting institutional arbitrations. 

Noting that in Asia, the international  arbitration centres in Singapore and Hong Kong were doing very well, he said that even when a dispute involved both parties from India, in many cases, they were being resolved through the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. “Ease of doing business and enforcement of contracts are very important factors for growth of economy,” he said, adding that India was lagging behind when it came to enforcement of contracts. He added that the centre coming up in Hyderabad would help further boost investments and growth of industries in Telangana. 

While the rules and by-laws of the institution are yet to be set, he said that an advantage of such a centre being established here was that the panel will comprise international arbitrators, and arbitrators with experience not only from the judiciary but various specialised fields. The arbitrators’ fees will also be regulated, he said. 

CJI NV Ramana said that a similar proposal had been floated back in 2003, and in spite of the then Chandrababu Naidu-led government granting land and funds, the arbitration centre didn’t materialise “due to problems in the system of judiciary.” However, stating that things were moving fast this time around, he requested the government of Telangana to allot land for an independent building for the arbitration centre. 

Read: SC Collegium recommends six names for elevation to Telangana High Court

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