Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019

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News:Government has enforced various Sections of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 by notifying it in Gazette.

Facts:

Salient Features of the Amendment Act:

  • Arbitration Council of India: It establishes an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms.
  • Mandate of ACI:ACI would be mandated to frame rules on (a)how institutions would be graded (b)norms to be followed and (c)monitoring of quality and performance.
  • Composition of the ACI: The ACI will consist of a Chairperson who is either: (i) a Judge of the Supreme Court; or (ii) a Judge of a High Court; or (iii) Chief Justice of a High Court; or (iv) an eminent person with expert knowledge in conduct of arbitration.
  • Relaxation of time limits: Under the original Act, arbitral tribunals are required to make their award within a period of 12 months for all arbitration proceedings.The amendment act remove this time restriction for international commercial arbitrations.
  • Completion of written submissions:The written claim and the defence to the claim in an arbitration proceeding, should be completed within six months of the appointment of the arbitrators.
  • Confidentiality of proceedings:It provides that the arbitrator, the arbitral institutions and the parties shall maintain confidentiality of information relating to arbitral proceedings.

Additional information:

About Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR):

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR) is the procedure for settling disputes without litigation.ADR is generally classified into-
  • Arbitration – It is a procedure in which the dispute is submitted to an arbitral tribunal which makes a decision on the dispute that is binding on the parties.
  • Conciliation – It is a non-binding procedure in which an impartial third party, the conciliator assists the parties to a dispute in reaching a mutually satisfactory agreed settlement of the dispute.
  • Mediation – It is a procedure in which the parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a trained impartial third person(s) who assists them in reaching a settlement.