Lt Governor inaugurates J&K International Arbitration Centre; launches JKIAC website

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SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today inaugurated the much awaited Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC).

The occasion also marked the launch of the website of J&K International Arbitration Centre.

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The Lt Governor, during his address, observed that the establishment of International Arbitration Centre in Jammu and Kashmir in the time of Liberal Economy and Globalization is a significant move. With this institution of arbitration, Jammu and Kashmir has secured its place in the commercial arbitration map of the world. The step will help J&K to promote domestic & international investments, industry, business and trade, he added.

Globalization has reduced the relevance of borders in trade and investments but we need to follow international practices to maximize benefits. Arbitration, as a mode of Alternate Dispute Resolution, gives flexibility, choice and confidence to investors, said the Lt Governor.

The setting up of the Centre is in line with requirements of modern day borderless trade, business and investments which cannot flourish with legal issues of jurisdictions cropping up in the event of any dispute. This mechanism will do away with cultural and language barriers, confusion over legal language employed in different courts and delays which causes great financial and other hardships to investors, he observed.

The Lt Governor said the Indian companies prefer arbitration for resolution of disputes half of the time. Good arbitration helps in improving ranking under the Ease of Doing Business Index.

I believe that a robust Arbitration Institution would help strengthen India’s position as a global leader in the business world, he added.

Underlining the importance of Arbitration, the Lt Governor said that it suits foreign investors and traders who do not have knowledge about domestic laws and would like their disputes to be confidential and resolved faster.

I have seen encouraging results emanate from the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration and the Delhi International Arbitration Centre, he said.

Arbitration simplifies the procedure and reduces the cost and time in settling disputes with the help of experts with domain knowledge who are appointed as arbitrators. As against courts which are already overburdened, arbitration provides for availing the services of technical experts in the field who can devote more time and decide swiftly, he continued.

The Lt Governor observed that the expert panel in the Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre consists of retired judges, senior officers, architects, engineers, professors and veterans of various walks of life and all would ensure effective resolution of disputes in a set time frame.

The quality and performance of arbitrators would also be monitored and they would be provided timely training also if needed. This would help establish norms and fix accountability. And ,it is as effective in terms of relief as arbitration awards are binding on the parties, he added.

India has already introduced appropriate changes in the legal framework. We need to take advantage of it. Our Arbitration and Conciliation Act is in line with the framework prepared by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. The common legal framework in line with the international requirements opens up India for foreign investments and business, he maintained.

I hope that with the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre, India would stand equal with other leaders in the field, said the Lt Governor.

Highlighting the efforts of the UT Government in revival and growth of the business sector, the Lt Governor observed that the government is working tirelessly to bring big industries in Jammu and Kashmir in order to revive the economy of the region.

The Lt Governor said that the setting up of the Centre will only boost our effort as this will do away with Investors apprehensions while considering investment. It would also help reinforce the investors’ trust in the region.

I believe that Arbitration – which provides an alternative mode of dispute resolution and also reduces pending cases across the judiciary, should make investors feel at home, he maintained.

During her keynote address, Chief Justice, Common High Court of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh, Justice Gita Mittal said that no society can be imagined without arbitration. Arbitration can be a game changer in dispute redressal, she added.

Arbitration centres are being developed at Jammu and Srinagar to redress the disputes and ensuring their speedy disposal, said the Chief Justice.

Chairperson, JKIAC, Justice Sindhu Sharma, in her welcome address, highlighted the significance of establishment of International Arbitration Centre in Jammu and Kashmir.

Chief Justice, Common High Court of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh, Justice Gita Mittal; Chairperson, JKIAC, Justice Sindhu Sharma; Judges of Common High Court of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh; Advisor to the Lt Governor, Farooq Khan; Chief Secretary, BVR Subramanyam; Advocate General, D.C Raina; Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K. Pole; IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar; Secretary to Government, Law Department, Achal Sethi; Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary; Members of JKIAC; Members of Legal Fraternity and other senior officers were present on the occasion.