Moves to ensure that India’s arbitration law is fit for purpose have grabbed the attention of the dispute resolution community. Rebecca Abraham reports
The Law Commission’s 246th report, published in August, baldly states that litigating in courts in India is “a time-consuming and expensive exercise, and justice usually eludes both parties to an action”.
This is a damning indictment of India’s court system, but the situation is not much better for parties seeking an alternative forum to resolve disputes. The 74-page report, which recommends amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, finds that arbitration as it is practised in India is often not an effective alternative. The delays and high costs encountered in the arbitration process make it such that “the object of quick alternative disputes resolution frequently stands frustrated”.
While this not will come as a surprise to investors or the legal community at large, the fact that India may have finally woken up to the need to put its house in order is being seen as a step in the right direction.