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Expert panel led by T.K. Vishwanathan submits report on arbitration sector to law ministry

The panel, which also had representatives of the law ministry as well as domain experts, has recommended an amendment to the arbitration law to confer on the court the power to set aside or vary the arbitration award, the sources said

PTI New Delhi Published 15.02.24, 10:23 AM
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An expert committee headed by former law secretary T.K. Vishwanathan has submitted its report on reforms in the arbitration sector to the law ministry, sources said on Wednesday.

The panel, which also had representatives of the law ministry as well as domain experts, has recommended an amendment to the arbitration law to confer on the court the power to set aside or vary the arbitration award, the sources said.

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Industry representatives have dubbed the proposed changes in the law as a setback for arbitration reforms in the country.

One of the major issues plaguing arbitrations, especially in a jurisdiction such as India, is the high fees charged by arbitrators.

The reforms propose deletion of the fourth schedule dealing with fees.

The panel has also set no limits on the number of arbitrations an arbitrator can take, leading to a delay in award, they said.

It also noted that no upper age limit has been prescribed for accepting an appointment as an arbitrator.

According to the terms of reference for the committee, it was to evaluate and analyse the operation of the present arbitration ecosystem of the country, including the working of the Arbitration Act, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses and challenges vis-a-vis other important foreign jurisdictions.

The committee was also asked to recommend a framework of model arbitration system, which is efficient, effective and economical and caters to users’ requirements.

PTI

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