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Report No. 76

2.31. Provision in Administration of Justice Act, 1970 (Commercial Court).-

The position has now been laid down in statute. Under the Administration of Justice Act, 1970, a Judge of the commercial court may,1 if, in all the circumstances he thinks fit, accept appointment as sole arbitrator or as umpire or by virtue of an arbitration agreement within the meaning of the Arbitration Act, 1950, where the dispute appears to him to be of a commercial character. Consent of the Lord Chief Justice is required. The fees payable for the services of a judge as arbitrator or umpire are to be taken in the High Court. The Third Schedule to the Act of 1970 contains provisions modifying or replacing provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1950, in relation to arbitration by judges.

In particular, any jurisdiction which is exercisable by the High Court in relation to arbitrators and umpires shall, in relation to a judge of the commercial court appointed as arbitrator or umpire, be exercisable, instead, by the court of appeal. The commercial Court is created under section 3 of the Administration of Justice Act, 1970, as a part of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court to try such causes and matters as may, in accordance with the rules of court, be entered in the Commercial list. Broadly speaking, "commercial causes" are actions arising out of the ordinary transactions of merchants and traders.

1. Section 4 and Third Schedule, Administration of Justice Act, 1970 (Chapter 31).

2.32. We have carefully considered the English scheme which,1 it should be noted, is confined to the commercial court. We are not, however, convinced that the English scheme would be suitable to India. As no recent Indian cases have raised this problem, we do not consider an amendment of the Act to be necessary.

1. Paras. 2.30 and 2.31, supna.

Arbitration Act, 1940 Back

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