India shifted from judicial interference to supporting arbitration: CJI | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud on Friday said India is walking shoulder to shoulder with leading centres for global commercial arbitration by replacing a regime of judicial interference with arbitration with one that supports arbitration, recognizes party autonomy and structures the role of courts in facilitating arbitration.
Speaking at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom with the honour of sitting on the chair of the president of UK SC, Justice Chandrachud said though India has created international arbitral centres of excellence, “we have to ensure that these new institutions are not controlled by a self-perpetuating clique.”
“These institutions must be based on the foundation of robust professionalism and the ability to generate consistent arbitral processes.Transparency and accountability, values by which the work of conventional courts is assessed and critiqued, cannot be alien to the world of arbitration,” he said.
Hoping that Indian arbitration institutions attain the trust and professionalism of their global counterpart, the CJI said as more and more commercial disputes move from courts to arbitral tribunals, “the substitution of courts should not result in creation of opaque structures.”
Justice Chandrachud said commercial arbitration has remained relevant for the last five centuries, more so today as “the courts in India are overburdened despite the high courts disposing of 2.15 million cases and the district courts disposing 44.7 million cases in 2023.”
Addressing the judges of the UK SC, the CJI said for Indian judiciary no case is big or small and every litigant has the right to just remedy. “The width of our jurisdiction was designed to ensure widest access to justice. But surely, every case need not find a remedy before the court, with emerging forms of dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation gaining acceptance,” he said.
The CJI expressed concern that though arbitration as a mode of commercial dispute resolution is gaining ground in India, many petitions are being filed in the Supreme Court challenging high court orders on petitions challenging the awards of the arbitral tribunals.
“The ostensible reason is the order (of the HC) but a scratch at the surface reveals that the real reason is a perceived lack of confidence in the arbitrator… Although arbitrators are private actors, they perform adjudicatory functions which require impartial decision-making… An independent arbitrator is impartial, and an impartial arbitrator is independent,” he said.

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