The Indian judiciary is recognized for placing the highest importance on the rule of law, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said on Tuesday, stressing that it “can be trusted because of its absolute independence and its inherent constitutional strength, all parties equally and to be treated fairly”. .
At the annual meeting of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce on “Arbitration in a Globalized World – The Indian Experience” in Dortmund, Germany, the CJI said: “The Indian constitutional courts – the High Courts and Supreme Court – have the power to try any government action check over. They can strike down any law that is not consistent with constitutional principles. They can also overturn the arbitrary actions of the executive branch.”
“The Indian judiciary forever protects constitutional rights in the world’s largest democracy,” he added.
The CJI also sought to allay fears of domestic court interference in the arbitration, stating how Indian courts are “pro-arbitration”.
“In recent years there has been some concern in the minds of the parties about the increasing interference of national courts in the arbitration process. Let me assure you, Indian courts are known for their pro-arbitration nature. Courts in India support and assist arbitration, leaving the substantive part of the decision to the arbitral tribunal itself,” he said.
Indian courts, according to CJI Ramana, “over time have allowed a broader latitude for arbitration of disputes” in order to “give impetus to both arbitration and innovation”.
“This stance by Indian courts has further increased the importance of international arbitration, particularly when it comes to countries like India and Germany,” he said.
The CJI stressed the need to develop more infrastructure for arbitration in developing countries so that the “geography of arbitration” is “balanced”.
“If we look at the geography of international arbitration today, it is mainly focused on the business centers of the developed world: Singapore, London, Paris or Stockholm,” he said. “This is despite the fact that most disputes originate in developing countries. Due to a severe lack of resources and infrastructure, even parties from developing countries choose to resolve their disputes in these well-established arbitration centers, which incurs high costs for them. The geography of international arbitration must be balanced.”
He recalled that “it is of paramount importance that our dispute resolution facilities must be consistent with our investment inflows”.
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