International Arbitration Centre to come up in J-K with offices at Srinagar and Jammu

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The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has obtained approval to set up an International Arbitration Center, with offices at Srinagar and Jammu, reported Bar and Bench.

It is aimed at providing an institutionalised framework for the speedy and expeditious resolution of disputes through an alternate dispute resolution mechanism. The JKIAC’s office at Srinagar is planned to be set up in one of the buildings in the old Saddar Court Court, Complex, Lal Chowk, Srinagar.

The High Court has also framed The Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC) (International Management Rules, 2020) in order to ensure that the constitution of such offices is smooth and effective, the Registrar General informed, the report added.

Registrar General Jawad Ahmed commented: “For securing fair, speedy and inexpensive Justice to the litigants and being sensitive to the fact that the object of the Section 89, in absence of detailed modalities, has remained somewhat dormant in Jammu and Kashmir, High Court has set up these Arbitration Centers.”

The High Court’s Chief Justice shall be the Patron-in-Chief of the JKIAC. To monitor and oversee the Centre, an Arbitration Committee is to be established. The Committee will consist of three Judges of the High Court, the Advocate General, the Assistant Solicitor General attached to the High Court and three members to be nominated by the Chief Justice, out of whom at least one shall be designated Senior Advocate, while the others may be arbitration experts.

As per the Rules, the JKIAC has to prepare and maintain a Panel of Arbitrators, as approved by the Arbitration Committee from time to time. Their suitability shall be determined by the Arbitration Committee. The empanelled Arbitrators shall consist of Former Judges, Former Judicial Officers, Chartered Accountants, Bureaucrats, Engineers, Architects, Professors etc.

For dealing with the arbitration proceedings in the Centre the Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (Arbitration Proceedings) Rules, 2020 have been framed by the High Court. 

This is the first time an arbitration centre is being set up as far as the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned. The first IAC in India was set up by the Maharashtra government at Mumbai in October 2016. Court-annexed Arbitration Centres are also successfully functioning at Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Chennai, and Cuttack.

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