Arbitrators must be above suspicion—सविस्तर माहितीसाठी Business Standard मधील बातमी वाचावी.

The Delhi High Court last week struck another blow against the practice of public sector undertakings insisting on selecting arbitrators from its panel of names, leaving private players no choice to suggest independent arbitrators. After the 2015 amendment to The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, ensuring independence of arbitrators, this practice was getting adverse judicial attention. In the latest judgment, Afcons Infrastructure Ltd vs Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), there was a dispute over a Rs 212-crore claim by the builder which undertook to raise a viaduct in Kolkata for RVNL. The private company chose a retired Calcutta High Court judge but the rail corporation insisted the arbitrators must be chosen from its panel of five names, all of whom were former rail employees. It insisted that the infrastructure firm had agreed to the term in the contract. The firm countered it would entail an arbitral tribunal of three arbitrators of which at least two were required to be serving officers of RVNL. The high court stated, following a similar decision of the Supreme Court, that this limited choice would shake the confidence in the arbitration process. It disregarded the arbitration clause and allowed Afcons to choose a Supreme Court judge as its nominee.

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