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Improving arbitration framework in India for infrastructure development

Student name: Mr Amritambu Satyarthi
Guide: Dr Vidhi Madaan Chadda
Year of completion: 2020


This dissertation gives an understanding to the readers about arbitration in infrastructure disputes and ways to improve the system of arbitration in India so that infrastructure could be developed at a much faster rate. This work argues that an advanced arbitration framework could help in attracting more investment in infrastructure from both domestic and foreign companies. An effective mechanism of arbitration will build trust of business community in Government of India. The dissertation has been classified into six chapters.

Chapter one is the introduction to the topic. It briefly discusses the infrastructure sector of India and effect that a well-functioning arbitration system can have on infrastructure development.

Chapter two discusses arbitration in infrastructure sector in much more detail. It elaborates on the challenges that are faced by parties involved in infrastructure development, and measures to deal with those challenges. This chapter then emphasizes on types of infrastructures and the arbitration provisions in India.

Chapter three puts emphasis on the judicial and legal trends in infrastructure arbitration. It specifies the legislations that are applicable to infrastructure disputes. It then discusses a range of factors that lead to conflict between arbitration and judiciary. The chapter emphasizes on the efforts of courts to better interpret Arbitration and Conciliation Act in order to resolve this conflict. Various judicial pronouncements have been discussed in detail, dealing with arbitration in infrastructure disputes. Legislatures efforts to minimize judicial interference in infrastructure arbitration disputes is also discussed in detail.

Chapter Four talks about new developments in infrastructure arbitration, from last year till now. Provisions of Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019, and their effect on infrastructure arbitration disputes is elaborated. Recent judgements which try to establish judiciary as a facilitator of arbitration instead of a hinderance have been discussed.

Chapter five is the road ahead for infrastructure arbitration. It emphasizes on a range of methods to ensure speedier and effective arbitration mechanism for infrastructure disputes in India. Comparison with other arbitration hubs is done, so that India can adopt best arbitration practices.

Chapter Six is the conclusion. It details the reason for popularity of ad-hoc arbitration over institutional arbitration. The dissertation ends on a positive note that the current changes in arbitration regime are welcome, and if constant efforts are made, India has a potential to become global arbitration hub.