The Delhi High Court has vacated its order that stayed the appointment of Dr. Rajiv Mani, Joint Secretary & Legal Advisor, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice as the custodian of the undertakings of the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Referring to counter affidavit filed by Union of India, the bench said that the decision taken to promulgate the Ordinance is based on substantive material. The court said that the Union of India has produced various materials which show that circumstances did exist which made it necessary to take immediate action in the matter. It said:
"We are of the considered view that now in the light of these materials that have come on record, it can be said that the satisfaction arrived at for promulgating the ordinance are based on certain relevant material and, therefore, prima facie judicial review of the order may be beyond jurisdiction of the Court."
While vacating the order, the bench further directed hat all the pending arbitration cases with the society (ICADR) shall be permitted to be carried out in the same manner as they were being done prior to the issuance of the Ordinance and further seminars, conferences and other training activities as is already fixed by the society shall be permitted to be carried out in accordance with the schedule already fixed and all assistance for the same shall be provided by the Custodian appointed by the order.
New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Ordinance 2019
International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution had approached the High Court challenging the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Ordinance 2019, which has resulted in the takeover of the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution set up in the year 1995.
As per Section 7 of the Ordinance, all assets are transferred to and vested with the Central Government. Faced with imminent takeover of its assets, ICADR rushed to the High Court challenging the validity of the Ordinance promulgated on March 2, which has "eliminated the very existence of the society".
The contention of the society is that the ordinance is intended to eliminate the very existence of the Society by providing for vesting of the entire assets and properties in New Delhi International Arbitration Centre, which are mostly, the owned properties and when there is no emergent situation existing to promulgate the same.