Hyderabad: Justice Challa Kodanda Ram of the Telangana High Court noted that alternative dispute resolution (ADR) was very useful to businesses, especially infrastructure and construction.
Justice Kodanda Ram recalled his own experience in the construction sector. “Before I joined the legal profession, I was a contractor for eight years. I know the problems faced by builders and the construction industry. Often, bills don’t get paid on time. This puts a lot of stress on builders,” he said, explaining how such conditions could lead to disputes between parties.
He said he had faced many problems with arbitration awards during his time as a lawyer. He explained that he had pleaded for a client after an arbitration award was challenged in the court. “I had succeeded in getting an award of `12 crore. It was challenged in the civil court, later the High Court and finally the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court appointed a sole arbitrator who awarded us `14 crore. But this award was challenged by the other party yet again in the civil court. This is how it was then,” he said, adding that latest Supreme Court judgments put checks on appeals in such cases.
The judge was speaking at a seminar, ‘Arbitration in infrastructure and construction sector’. organised by the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution’s (ICDAR) regional centre in Hyderabad and the Con-federation of Industries (CII) Telangana.
“However, I must say that there has been a sea change in the mindset of the people, administrators and departments over the past two decades. Today, arbitrators can be very useful to the infrastructure and construction sector. In fact, these changes make me very enthusiastic. I am looking forward to my retirement so I can go back to being more involved in the field I started out in,” Justice Kodanda Ram said.
Mr J.L.N. Murthy, in-charge of ICADR’s regional centre, noted that the amendments carried out this year to the Aribtration and Conciliation Act, 2015 were a huge improvement. “There are many important changes. For instance, the timelines for arbitration have been defined well. Also, they mandate the speedy appointment of arbitrators through institutions designated by the Supreme Court and High Courts,” he said....