Evolution of Arbitration in India can be traced out in “Brihadaranyaka Upanishad” under the Hindu Law. It consisted of various types of arbitral body which comprised of three primary bodies:- i) The local court ii) the people engaged in the same business or profession iii) Panchayat. The members to the panchayat known was “Panchas or Panch Parmeshawar.” They were the first arbitrator of that time. The dispute was referred to them under the given system and their decisions were considered to be final and binding. With the passage of time, the system evolved and a legislative line was introduced to British India, whereupon first enactment on arbitration to be known as “The Indian Arbitration Act, 1899”. It was only applicable to the presidency: Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. This Act had its root in British Arbitration Act, 1889. Thereafter a complete new legislation, Arbitration Act, 1940 was introduced Pan India. This was replaced by Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, and further it is amended in the year 2015 and 2019, and 2021.
Arbitration; is defined in one of the judicial pronouncement in case of Collins Vs. Collins. Hon’ble Justice John Romilly defined arbitration as “A reference to the decision of one or more persons, either with or without an empire, of some matter or matters in difference between the party”. Arbitration is a judicial process whereby two or more parties, for the determination of their dispute, chooses own procedure and judge (arbitrator) also.
Gujarat is one of the leading industrialized state in India and hence Gujarat ranks top in ease of doing business among Indian States. Since last many years Gujarat state witnessed upsurge in business activity, both at domestic and international level. As business rises, conflicts and more complex dispute arises. The snail paced judicial process could not immediately accommodate such complex nature of dispute and so it gives rise to Arbitration proceedings in Gujarat. To promote the flexible, cost effective and timely Arbitration proceedings, the concept of Institutional Arbitration is introduced in Arbitration Act.
In the background of above, the need was craved to have our own Arbitration Centre of Domestic and International Arbitration under the aegis of High Court of Gujarat. The long hatched dream came true on 20th February, 2021. On eve of this Day under the auspicious hand of Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. R. Shah, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vikram Nath, the then Chief Justice of High Court of Gujarat and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Veenit Kothari, Senior Most Judge, High Court of Gujarat, this Arbitration Centre has been inaugurated. This Arbitration Centre has blessings of all other Hon’ble puisne judges of High Court of Gujarat as well as renowned dignitaries.
The Arbitration Centre, High Court of Gujarat is established just behind High Court Building, on 2nd Floor of Library Building with state of art infrastructure. It has been established in total space of 3582 Sq. Ft. It has four well equipped arbitration room, two big and two small with other in house facilities.