Stakeholders’ and people in general are required to submit their views over the draft rules made by the Department of Legal Affairs under the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Act, 2019 on the concerning terms and conditions regarding salary and allowance payable to the chairperson and full-time members and some other related matters. The Department of Legal Affairs has taken this initiative in order to be get a public’s opinion on the draft rules formulated under the NDIAC Act, 2019.
During a Press Conference on 12th February 2020, Wednesday, the Ministry of Law & Justice stated that NDIAC Act, 2019 was enacted with the view to provide for the establishment and incorporation of New Delhi International Arbitration Centre in order to create an Independent Regime for Institutional Arbitration and to make the centre an institution of national importance. This act replaces the ordinance on the subject which had come into force on 2 March, 2019.
A Chairperson would be required to head NDIAC, who has been a judge of the Supreme Court or a judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration, law or management, to be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, comes under the Section 5 of the Act.
Also, two full – time members or part – members from amongst eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in institutional arbitration, both domestic and international will also be appointed. In addition to that, one representative of a recognized body of commerce and industry is to be nominated on rotational basis as a part – time member. The Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice; Financial Adviser nominated by Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance; and Chief Executive Officer, NDIAC; will be ex-officio members.
Section 23 of the Act provides for the Secretariat to the Centre inter alia comprising Registrar, Counsel and other officers & employees etc.
The Department of Legal Affairs has prepared different draft rules. These are:
- The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (the terms and conditions and the salary and allowances payable to the Chairperson and Full-time Members) Rules 2020.
- The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (the travelling and other allowances payable to Part-time Members) Rules 2020.
- The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (the number of officers and employees of the Secretariat of the Centre) Rules 2020.
- The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (the qualifications, experience, method of selection and the functions of the Registrar, Counsel and other officers and employees of the Centre) Rules 2020.
With the procedure, the Government seeks to consult all the stakeholders. A copy of the aforesaid draft rules has been uploaded on the website of the department of Legal Affairs, and Public Consultation has been commenced on the draft rules by DoLA with the timeline of submission of comments by 14th March, 2020.
It all started with Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which was amended by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 in order to make the arbitration process more user friendly, cost effective and to ensure speedy disposal and neutrality of the arbitrators. In order to give a boost to institutional arbitration vis-a-vis ad hoc arbitration and to remove some of the practical difficulties when it comes to applicabilition of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, the Government has recently amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019. Certain provisions of the Amendment Act have been enforced w.e.f 30.08.2019.
Author – Devansh Dev