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Introduction of time limit for arbitration proceedings in the new ordinance in this regard will help in quick resolution of disputes, according to former mudgalDelhi High Court judge Mukul Mudgal.

“This will help in quick resolution of disputes. If the counsel could prepare the claim in advance and present it in the first sitting itself, a lot of time and sittings can be saved,” he said during a panel discussion on ‘Changing landscape of arbitration in India’ here.

According to the new Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2015, an arbitral tribunal is required to render an award within 12 months from the date of appointment of arbitrators, which can be extended for a further period of 6 months by agreement of the parties.

Justice Mudgal also said if an award is not made within this time period, the mandate of the arbitrators automatically terminates and an extension can only be granted by courts.

He termed the amendment well-intended saying it sends a positive message regarding arbitration in India.

Besides him, senior advocate Amal Kumar Ganguli; Devdas Baliga, vice president (legal) Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia; and Sanjeev K Kapoor, partner (dispute resolution) at Khaitan and Company took part in the discussion.

Ganguli said an arbitration is as good and as bad as an arbitrator.

“But unfortunately, certain arbitrators nominated by the parties act as their counsel,” he added while discussing the new aspects of the legislation.

Baliga said capping of fees in the amended act is a boon to clients as it helps in managing the budget.

“Disputes affect the business. It takes away the focus of the firm as without capping, we would have no idea how much to pay,” he said.

The ordinance provides a cap on the fees to be paid to an arbitrator, barring international commercial arbitrations and institutional arbitrations.

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