Indian Judiciary Has Pro-Arbitration Stance, Absolute Independence: CJI

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Mumbai: Speaking at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce annual meeting in Germany, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said that the Indian judiciary not only has a pro-arbitration stance but also possesses absolute independence.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Chief Justice Ramana stressed that Indian courts only have a pro-arbitration stance but also possess absolute independence and the constitutional strength to treat all parties, including foreign entities, equally and equitably.

Delivering the inaugural address in Dortmund, Germany, the CJI highlighted the role of mediation in resolving disputes, pointing out that every investor looks forward to a destination that is socially and economically stable, along with a strong legal framework, to protect investments and resolve disputes.

“In recent years, there have been some apprehensions in the minds of the parties regarding the increasing interference of domestic courts in the arbitration process. I assure you, Indian courts are known for their arbitration stance. Courts in India assist and support arbitration and leave the substantive part of adjudication to the arbitral tribunal itself”, the CJI said.

The CJI also sought to dispel any doubts about the judiciary, and what critics have said about its increasing politicization in recent years.

“Indian judiciary always protects constitutional rights in the largest democracy of the world. You can count on the Indian judiciary for its absolute independence and its inherent constitutional strength to treat all parties equally and equitably.

“The Constitutional Courts of India – the High Court and the Supreme Court – have the power to judicially review every act of the government. They can strike down any law that is not in conformity with constitutional principles. They can also set aside the arbitrary measures of the executive,” the CJI said.

The CJI also highlighted the bilateral agreements between India and Germany by setting up a fast-track mechanism to integrate various medium-sized German companies into the Indian market.

Regarding the process of arbitration of disputes, the CJI lamented the fact that most of such current processes are carried out in financial centres of the developed like Singapore, London, Paris or Stockholm, noting that most such disputes occur in the developing world.

“Due to a severe lack of resources and infrastructure, even parties from developing countries choose to resolve their disputes in these established resolution centres at severe cost to them. The geography of international arbitration needs to be balanced,” he asserted.

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