SRINAGAR: In order to provide an institutionalized framework for speedy and expeditious resolution of disputes through alternate dispute resolution mechanism, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has accorded approval to setting up of High Court annexed Arbitration Centers at Srinagar and Jammu called as “The Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC)”.
For securing fair, speedy and inexpensive justice to the litigants and being sensitive to the fact that the object of Section 89, in absence of detailed modalities, has remained somewhat dormant in Jammu and Kashmir, High Court has set up these Arbitration Centers.
To ensure that constitution of such Centres is smooth and effective, High Court has also framed “The Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC) (International Management Rules, 2020)”.
As per these rules, Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir shall be the Patron-in-Chief of the Jammu & Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC). To monitor and oversee the Centres, an Arbitration Committee consisting of three Judges of the High Court, Advocate General, Assistant Solicitor General attached to the High Court and three members to be nominated by the Chief Justice of the Common High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh out of whom at least one shall be designated Senior Advocate, while the others may be any arbitration expert, in India or abroad has to be established.
To supervise and manage the JKIAC, a secretariat consisting of Coordinator who shall be member of Higher Judicial Service and two additional coordinators who shall be Members of Judicial Service , have to be appointed by the Chief Justice.
The rules further envisage appointment of Chief Counsel and Deputy Counsel amongst Advocates having experience in the field of arbitration.
As per the Rules, the JKIAC has to prepare and maintain a Panel of Arbitrators as approved by the Arbitration Committee from time to time from amongst persons who are suitable and willing to serve as arbitrators provided that their suitability shall be determined by the Arbitration Committee. The empanelment of the Arbitrators shall consist of Former Judges, Former Judicial Officers, Chartered Accountants, Bureaucrats, Engineers, Architects, Professors etc.
Similarly for dealing with the arbitration proceedings in such Centres, “Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (Arbitration Proceedings) Rules, 2020” have also been framed by the High Court.
For regulating administrative fee of the Centre and Arbitrator’s fee, “The Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (Administration Pass and Arbitrator’s Fee) Rules, 2020” have been framed by the High Court.
The setting up of Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre shall go a long way in achieving the object behind enactment of Section 89 Civil Procedure Code and at the same time shall ensure that arbitration proceedings remain inexpensive and are carried out within shortest possible time.
Pertinently, Courts annexed Arbitration Centres are successfully functioning at Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Chennai (Madras) and Cuttack (Orrisa).