The Jammu and Kashmir High Court will have arbitration centres in both regions of the union territory to provide an institutionalised framework for speedy and expeditious resolution of disputes through an alternate dispute resolution mechanism.

The court has accorded approval to setting up of high court annexed arbitration centres at Srinagar and Jammu, an official spokesman said here on late Saturday evening.

The centres will be called The Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC)

For securing fair, speedy and inexpensive justice to the litigants and being sensitive to the fact that the object of the Section 89, in absence of detailed modalities, has remained somewhat dormant in Jammu and Kashmir, the court has set up these arbitration centres, the spokesman said.

He said to ensure that the constitution of such centres is smooth and effective, the high court has also framed The Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC) (International Management Rules, 2020) .

As per these rules, he said, the chief justice of the high court of Jammu and Kashmir shall be the patron-in-chief of the Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (JKIAC).

To monitor and oversee the centres, an arbitration committee consisting of three judges of the high court, advocate general, assistant solicitor general attached to the high court and three members to be nominated by the Chief Justice of the Common High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh out of whom at least one shall be designated senior advocate, while the others may be any arbitration expert, in India or abroad has to be established, the spokesman said.

He said to supervise and manage the JKIAC, a secretariat consisting of coordinator who shall be a 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 spokesman said 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 the persons who are suitable and willing to serve as arbitrators provided that their suitability shall be determined by the arbitration committee, he said.

The empanelment of the arbitrators shall consist of former judges, former judicial officers, chartered accountants, bureaucrats, engineers, architects, professors etc, he added.

Similarly for dealing with arbitration proceedings in such centres, Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (Arbitration Proceedings) Rules, 2020 have also been framed by the high court, the spokesman said.

For regulating the administrative fee of the centre and arbitrator’s fee, The Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre (Administration Pass and Arbitrator’s Fee) Rules, 2020 have been framed by the High Court.

The setting up of Jammu and Kashmir International Arbitration Centre would go a long way in achieving the object 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 spokesman said.

He said courts-annexed arbitration centres are successfully functioning at Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Chennai (Madras) and Cuttack (Orrisa).