Bill to fortify arbitration framework introduced in Rajya Sabha

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  1. Government has introduced the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill,2019 in Rajya Sabha.The bill seeks to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,1996.
  2. The bill seeks to make India a hub of domestic and global arbitration for settling commercial disputes.It provides for settlement of commercial disputes within six months.
  3. The Bill seeks to establish an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India(ACI) to set up a framework for creating arbitral institutions and accrediting arbitrators by laying down norms. 
  4. The 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.
  5. The Bill amends Section 11 of the Act to change the present system of appointment of arbitrators by the Supreme Court or a high court to a system where the arbitrator shall be appointed by arbitral institutions designated by the Supreme Court or a high court.
  6. The bill also provides that if no graded arbitral institutions are available, the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned may maintain a panel of arbitrators for discharging the functions and duties of arbitral institutions. 
  7. The bill also provides that the arbitrator, the arbitral institutions and the parties shall maintain confidentiality of information relating to arbitral proceedings.
  8. Arbitration and Conciliation are the methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).ADR is the procedure for settling disputes without litigation.
  9. Arbitration 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.On the other hand,Conciliation 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.