Arbitration must be professional to flourish: CJI

New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Chief Justice of India T.S.Thakur on Friday said for arbitration to succeed in India, all those involved in the process, be it the arbitrator or the lawyers, would have to act professionally.

Pointing out that the arbitration overseas was highly professional, he said that it was this lack of this professional approach that was coming in the way of arbitration not flourishing in India.

“If you want to flourish in India, you have to be professionally competent” and “a matter (under arbitration) must finish once it has started otherwise it becomes oppressive both to the parties to arbitration and the arbitrator,” he said in his inaugural address at the two-day international conference ‘Arbitration in the era of globalisation’ organised by the Indian Council of Arbitration and business chamber FICCI.

He said that while in India, an arbitrator sits for two hours, in London, they sit for eight hours with half an hour break.

Calling for a change in the legal format of arbitration, Chief Justice Thakur said that there were things in law that need a relook but expressed satisfaction that the government was alive to it and was making changes, citing the instance of it bringing amendments even to the ordinance relating to the Arbitration Act.

Saying that there was no conflict between the judiciary and arbitraton, he assured that judiciary from top to bottom would support the growth of arbitration as it would take away that much burden of the judiciary.

However, he urged the judiciary to be sensitive and restrained in interfering with arbitration awards.

“Judiciary also needs to be sensitive. You need to (show) restraint in interfering in the arbitration awards. In any arbitration, one has to lose, both (the parties to arbitration) cannot walk out happily,” he said.

However, he stressed need for “a proper format that may not provide for an open-ended challenge to the arbitration award”.

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