Govt issues draft rules for New Delhi International Arbitration Centre

The government today issued draft new rules for the establishment and incorporation of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) for the purpose of creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised arbitration.

The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Act, 2019 was enacted with a view to make New Delhi a hub for institutionalised arbitration and to declare the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre to be an institution of national importance. 
The Act replaces the ordinance on the subject, which had come into force on 2 March 2019.
As per section 5 of the Act, NDIAC will be headed by a chairperson, who has been a judge of the Supreme Court or a judge of a high court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration, law or management, to be appointed by the central government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. 
Besides, it will also have two full-time or part-time members from amongst eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in institutional arbitration, both domestic and international. In addition, one representative of a recognised body of commerce and industry shall be nominated on rotational basis as a part-time member. Secretary of the Department of Legal Affairs of the ministry of law and justice, financial adviser nominated by the Department of Expenditure of the finance ministry and chief executive officer of NDIAC will be ex-officio members.
Section 23 of the Act provides for the Secretariat to the centre inter-alia comprising registrar, counsel and other officers and employees etc.
The draft rules prepared by the Department of Legal Affairs prescribes the pay and allowances of the chairperson and full-time members of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Rules 2020.
Part-time members of the NDIAC are eligible for travelling and other allowances Besides it has set minimum requirements like educational qualifications, experience, method of selection and the functions of the registrar, counsel and other officers and employees of the centre.
The government intends to consult all stakeholders in the process. A copy of the draft rules has been uploaded on the website of the Department of Legal Affairs (http://legalaffairs.gov.in/). Accordingly, DoLA has commenced public consultation on the draft rules with the timeline of submission of comments by 14 March 2020.
The government had amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, through the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 in order to make arbitration process user friendly, cost effective and ensure speedy disposal and neutrality of arbitrators. 
To give a boost to institutional, arbitration vis-a-vis ad hoc arbitration and to remove some practical difficulties in applicability of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, the government has recently amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019. Certain provisions of the amendment Act have been enforced wef 30 August 2019.
The Amendment Act inter-alia seeks to insert a new Part 1A to the Act of 1996 for the establishment and incorporation of an independent body namely, the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the purpose of grading of arbitral institutions and accreditation of arbitrators, etc.