International Commercial Arbitration In India

International Commercial Arbitration In IndiaIndia has been witnessing an e-commerce boom and increased amount of foreign direct investment. Recently Indian government clarified about the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) In E-Commerce Sector Of India 2016. Parliament of India has also passed the Insolvency And Bankruptcy Code, 2016 to ensure ease of doing business in India. Despite the increasing inflow of foreign capital in the Indian economy, India’s potential to attract FDI from the world has not yet been fully trapped. This is happening because India lacks an efficient dispute resolution system in the country. And this is happening at a time when e-commerce disputes and litigations are set for big rise in India. Even establishment of smart cities in India would require a techno legal smart dispute resolution mechanism.

Indian legal system is suffering from delays and backlog of cases. This is also affecting the quick disposal of commercial disputes between national and international stakeholders. Foreign investors who wish to resolve their dispute expeditiously cannot afford to wait decades for a dispute to reach finality. The current dispute resolution system of India is not only antique in nature, is cumbersome and time consuming as well. The backlog of cases is increasing day by day affecting the outcome of various cases. There was emergent need of judicial and legal reforms in India so that courts in India can meet the expectations of the 21st Century and also that could preserve the courts reputation and supports the courts critical role in maintaining trust by outside world and their confidence in the protection afforded to them by the law.

India experimented with the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like arbitration, conciliation, etc under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. However, even the Arbitration Act has failed to bring the desired results. This is more so regarding international commercial disputes that can be better resolved using international commercial arbitration in India. UNCITRAL has promulgated the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration in June 1985 in response to the lack of uniformity in international commercial arbitration. The Arbitration Act is based substantially on this Model Law. The Model Law’s stated goals prescribe an arbitral procedure which is fair, efficient, and needs-focused to minimise the supervisory role of Courts. Other goals include:

(a) Limiting the role of national courts and to give primacy to the will of the parties in establishing the procedure for the settlement of their disputes;

(b) Securing procedural fairness by means of a limited number of provisions from which the parties could not agree to depart;

(c) Putting in place rules which advance arbitration, even if the parties have not reached agreement on all relevant procedural matters;

(d) Enforcing court decrees as awards; and

(e) That a settlement agreement reached by its conciliation proceedings would have the same status as an arbitral award.

India’s willingness to accept globalisation and FDI has tested its Arbitration law before the global audience. It is now felt that the Arbitration Act needs suitable techno legal amendments keeping in mind information and communication technology (ICT) driven business models. Indian government has already proposed amendments to the Arbitration Act and formulation of a new national litigation policy of India where Indian government would act as a responsible litigant.

One of the fundamental objectives of international commercial arbitration is the procedural neutrality as International disputes almost inevitably involve parties from different home jurisdictions. Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) suggests that India must speed up the process of adoption of online dispute resolution (ODR) for resolving e-commerce and international commercial disputes. E-commerce disputes resolution in India may be resolved using ODR in the near future. Similarly, international commercial arbitration and dispute resolution in India would also use ODR platforms and websites in the near future. ODR would also solve the problems of procedural neutrality and jurisdiction as a centralised platform can resolve disputes between national and international stakeholders.

As far as recognition of a foreign decree or judgment in India is concerned, it can be held valid and conclusive, only if it complies with all prerequites as laid down in Section 13 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) namely (i) that the judgements must be pronounced by a court of competent jurisdiction, (ii) it must decided on merits, (iii) it must not be obtained by fraud, (iv) it is not against natural justice, (v) it should in accordance with principles of international law, (vi) where it sustains a claim founded on a breach of any law in India.

P4LO strongly recommend that Indian laws must be suitably modified so that India can be a premier location for international commercial arbitration in the world. Our techno legal platforms would help Indian government for international commercial arbitration in general and digital India in particular.

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Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Services For National And International Stakeholders Launched By TLCEODRI

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Services For National And International Stakeholders Launched By TLCEODRIDisputes are common world over and their effective and timely redressal is a big challenge for governments around the world. In the Indian context, there is a massive backlog of cases that is crippling the judicial system of India. Establishment of e-courts in India can help reducing such backlog of cases. However, it is not easy to establish e-courts as mere computerisation of court proceedings and records would not help in establishment of a full fledged e-court.

It is comparatively easier to use online dispute resolution (ODR) for resolving various sorts of disputes especially those pertaining to civil nature, e-commerce disputes, etc. ODR in India is still evolving as Indian government is still hesitant to use the same. Indian government has announced promising initiatives like digital India but the actual implementation of these initiatives is a big challenge. Mere announcement without any implementation is of no use.

As far as ODR is concerned, the techno legal centre of excellence for online dispute resolution in India (TLCEODRI) has launched a beta version of ODR platform that can be used for dispute resolution by national and international stakeholders alike. This is possible as the test platform is guided by the digital India principles and mere access of Internet would be sufficient to resolve the disputes from across the world.

The parties intended to be covered by the present and future techno legal initiatives of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) and TLCEODRI include national and international stakeholders like Central/State Governments, Foreign Governments, Indian companies, multi national companies (MNCs), Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), individuals, e-commerce websites, etc. We hope that all stakeholders would find this beta version initiative worth trying and making the same part of their business ventures and public dealings. To test the same, please create a ticket as per the category in which you fall.

Further, a special service of conducting Online Arbitration or Cyber Arbitration is also there where parties to the dispute can submit their disputes to the platforms of P4LO or TLCEODRI. The parties to the dispute must have incorporated the sample clause for getting their disputes resolved through P4LO or TLCEODRI while entering into an agreement/contract. Interested stakeholders may also contact us for drafting of such agreements/contracts where such ODR clause would be part of the same. This way parties need not to go to the courts and they can settle their disputes amicably, expeditiously and in an economical manner.

Once the Arbitrator/Arbitration Tribunal is appointed, the appointed Arbitrator/Arbitration Tribunal of P4LO or TLCEODRI would then proceed to deal with the dispute and pass a binding Arbitration award by which the parties to the dispute would be legally bound. The rules, procedures, list of panelists, etc would be uploaded on various ODR platforms of P4LO and TLCEODRI very soon.

For those who have already tried the conciliation efforts at this beta version platform and have failed to get a result, there is also an option to send a legal notice through the platform. This, obviously, is totally different from the Online Arbitration or Cyber Arbitration option before the P4LO or TLCEODRI as the latter proceedings would be governed by a separate procedure and notice of initiation of arbitration proceedings would be send to the parties to the arbitration instead of a legal notice. The purpose of a legal notice is to try to settle the dispute through the legal notice itself and if that fails, the matter can be taken up before the regular courts/tribunals. Legal notices are also effective where there is no ODR clause that attaches the parties to the disputes to the services of P4LO or TLCEODRI. In such a case there is no other option left but to send a legal notice as a last attempt to resolve the dispute.

P4LO and TLCEODRI would soon launch many more techno legal dispute resolution and e-courts related projects that would help national and international stakeholders alike. They would be full fledged and tested platforms that could be readily relied upon by various stakeholders. We would share information about the final initiatives very soon.

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E-Commerce Dispute Resolution In India

E-Commerce Dispute Resolution In IndiaE-commerce is growing at a fast speed in India as India is seen as a lucrative and profitable market for e-commerce business. However, e-commerce laws in India are still not clear to most of the e-commerce entrepreneurs. As a result most of the e-commerce websites are not following the laws of India and are inadvertently violating the laws of India. Regulatory authorities of India have started questioning the operations of e-commerce websites of India and many of them are facing potential legal actions.

The tussle is not merely between the regulatory authorities and e-commerce website owners but it also extends to disputes between e-commerce websites and their consumers. Most of the consumers are not aware about their digital rights while dealing with such e-commerce companies and websites. At the same time there is lack of forums and dispute resolutions platforms for digital consumers in India where they can agitate their claims. In short, e-commerce dispute resolution in India is still to be managed by Indian Government.

We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) believe that online dispute resolution (ODR) can be effectively used in India to manage many digital and non digital disputes, including for e-commerce purposes. To make ODR a success in India, Techno Legal Centre of Excellence for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in India (TLCEODRI) has been providing its techno legal ODR services to national and international stakeholders.

TLCEODRI has realised that ODR in India has failed to materialised due to lack of techno legal expertise on the one hand and absence of public awareness on the other. This is the reason why we have started an online dispute resolution (ODR) platform in India for national and international stakeholders where techno legal disputes can be resolved in an online environment.

This platform has twin objectives to meet. The first is to develop techno legal skills and trainings for ODR in India and abroad. This objective is fulfilled through the initiative titled ODR Trainings and Skills Development in India by TLCEODRI. The second objective is to spread public awareness about ODR in India and abroad. This objective is fulfilled by spreading information and providing guidance about ODR through our social media platforms. Please see our Twitter accounts named ODR India and TLCEODRI and the first ODR Social Media and Social Networking Platform of TLCEODRI for updates and information about ODR. Please see the ODR Discussion Forum of TLCEODRI for more details about this project.

We are also in the process of introducing new techno legal features so that ODR platform of TLCEODRI can provide the most comprehensive and holistic techno legal ODR services at a single website. Meanwhile national and international stakeholders like e-commerce websites, government departments, international agencies, national and international companies, multi national companies (MNCs), individuals, etc can register with us to avail our services by sending an e-mail at our contact point.

We would share more information about enrollment by e-commerce companies for dispute resolution services of TLCEODRI at our ODR Discussion Forum very shortly.

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Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) In India By TLCEODRI

Praveen Dalal-Managing Partner Of Perry4Law And CEO Of PTLBDispute resolution is a tricky issue even for a big Nation like India as Indian Courts are already overburdened with court cases and litigations. Indian Government tried its level best to reduce this backlog and provide some relief to Indian Judiciary but till now little success has been achieved in this regard. Indian Government also tried to use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for disputes resolution and out of courts settlements. However, despite the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 the situation has not improved. Rather the situation has worsened and now Arbitration related matters are also required to be adjudicated upon by Courts in India.

Indian Government realised the gravity of this situation and decided to attack upon this backlog from two fronts. Firstly, Indian Government launched Digital India Project that aims at using information and communication technology (ICT) for Judicial purposes. Although not expressly stated yet this may include use of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and E-Courts in India.

Secondly, Indian Government also decided to amend the Arbitration Act 1996 during the winter session of the Parliament in 2014. However, the Amendments failed to take the Parliament’s clearance during the winter session and the BJP Government decided not to take the “Ordinance Route” for the same. It was decided to wait for the next session of the Parliament to pass the Amendment Bill.

Techno Legal Centre of Excellence for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in India (TLCEODRI) has been managing techno legal issues of ODR since 2012. However, ODR related issues were managed by us in one form  or other since 2005. We have now rejuvenated our efforts in this regard and launched a full fledged ODR platform to cater the needs and requirements of national and international stakeholders.

TLCEODRI would use maximum possible technologies, tools, software and applications while providing its techno legal ODR services. This includes use of methods like simple e-mails to automated case management systems. Wherever required, TLCEODRI would also issue “Arbitration Awards” as well that would be binding upon parties to the dispute by virtue of the Standard Arbitration Agreements of TLCEODRI.

TLCEODRI has taken great pain in providing the most “Comprehensive and Holistic” ODR Platform of India and worldwide. Our ODR Platform includes the ODR Discussion Forum, ODR Social Media Platform, ODR Training Platform, etc. Please see “Our Services” segment for the types of services that you may wish to avail from TLCEODRI. The Discussion Forum is always available for getting information about the ODR services of TLCEODRI.

We hope this ODR platform of TLCEODRI would be handy tool in the hands of both national and international stakeholders to get their disputes resolved through an Economical, Expeditious, Transparent and Effective Platform.

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