Chief Justice Gita Mittal of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has constituted an "Arbitration Committee" for recently approved J&K International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC), annexed to the High Court premises.
The Arbitration Committee, constituted under Rule 3 of the JKIAC (Internal Management) Rules, 2020, comprises of:
- Justice Sindhu Sharma
- Justice Rajnesh Oswal
- Justice Javed Iqbal Wani
- Mr. DC Raina, Advocate General for UT of J&K
- Mr. Vishal Sharma, Assistant Solicitor General of India attached to Jammu Wing of the High Court
- Mr. Tahir Majid Shamsi, Assistant Solicitor General of India attached to Srinagar Wing of the High Court
- Mr. Gaurav Pachnanda, Senior Advocate
- Mr. Abhinav Bushan, Regional Director for South Asia, ICC Arbitration and ADR, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Singapore
- Mr. Moazzam Khan, Advocate, Head Global Litigation, Nishith Desai Associates.
Pertinently, as per the JKIAC (Internal Management) Rules,2020, the High Court Chief Justice is the Patron-in-Chief of JKIAC and has the power to nominate three Judges (from the J&K HC itself) as members of the Arbitration Committee.
Under Rule 3.1(b) and (c) of the Rules, Advocate General and ASGI for the J&K High Court are also members of the committee. Further, Rule 3.1(d) empowers the Chief Justice to nominate three more members of the committee out of whom at least one shall be designated Senior Advocate, while the others may be any arbitration expert, in India or abroad.
The J&K High Court had accorded approval to set up JKIAC only a few days ago.
To supervise and manage the JKIAC, a Secretariat consisting of Coordinator who shall be member of Higher Judicial Service and two additional coordinators who shall be Members of Judicial Service, have to be appointed by the Chief Justice.
The rules further envisage appointment of Chief Counsel and Deputy Counsel amongst Advocates having experience in the field of arbitration.
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 from amongst persons who are suitable and willing to serve as arbitrators. The empanelment of the Arbitrators shall consist of:
- Former Judges
- Former Judicial Officers
- Chartered Accountants
- Professors, etc.
Similarly, for dealing with the arbitration proceedings in such Centres, JKIAC Arbitration Proceedings Rules, 2020 have also been framed by the High Court.
For regulating administrative fee of the Centre and Arbitrator's fee, the JKIAC Administration Pass and Arbitrator's Fee Rules, 2020 have been framed.
Pertinently, Courts annexed Arbitration Centres are successfully functioning at Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Chennai (Madras) and Cuttack (Orrisa).
"The setting up of Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre shall go a long way in achieving the objective behind enactment of Section 89 Civil Procedure Code and at the same time shall ensure that arbitration proceedings remain inexpensive and are carried out within the shortest possible time," the High Court said.