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Supreme Court praises Mumbai High Court: SC praises Mumbai High Court’s approach to appointing young lawyers as mediators

Supreme Court praises Mumbai High Court: SC praises Mumbai High Court’s approach to appointing young lawyers as mediators
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Supreme Court praises Mumbai High Court: SC praises Mumbai High Court’s approach to appointing young lawyers as mediators

Supreme Court praises Mumbai High Court: SC praises Mumbai High Court’s approach to appointing young lawyers as mediators

New Delhi
The Supreme Court has praised the Mumbai High Court. He has been praised by the Supreme Court for appointing young lawyers as arbitrators. The court said this would help train these lawyers in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. It also helps reduce costs.

This was stated by a bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah on Friday during the arbitration hearing relating to fixing of cylinder prices. He said it is good that both sides have agreed on the same name for the process.

“The Mumbai High Court has now started the practice of appointing young knowledgeable lawyers as mediators at minimum cost,” the bench said. These young lawyers consider it an honor to be appointed by the High Court. They work hard. Complete it in two or three meetings. They also charge lower fees than others. They are doing a great job.

Justice Chandrachud recalled an incident when he was a judge in the Mumbai High Court and a person was appointed as mediator.

He said, ‘After a while, both sides came to us. He joined hands and said that we request you to change the mediator. He said the arbitrator was asking for more than the fee fixed by the court. Therefore, we have specified that the fee will be charged according to the prescribed amount. You see, this is the problem. The bench said that when it appoints an arbitrator, it specifically states that the charges will be levied as per the prescribed amount.

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What was the case?
Advocates for a company called Supreme Cylinders Limited said arbitration proceedings have been pending since 2017. He said the court-appointed arbitrator was rescheduling the proceedings for one reason or another despite charging a fee for each meeting.

He told the court that it would be better to appoint a second single arbitrator and decide the case without adjournment. Advocates said they wanted Bharat Petroleum to fix the price of the cylinder immediately as repeated delays in arbitration proceedings were affecting their client’s business.

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The court ordered
After hearing the arguments of all the parties, the apex court ordered, “All disputes and disagreements between the parties shall be referred to the sole arbitrator of Justice Naresh H Patil in place of the arbitration appointed by this court on 24 April 2017.”

The proceedings will start from the stage reached before the earlier arbitration, the bench said. The arbitrator will make a decision after hearing the final argument based on the evidence already on record. The apex court said that considering the stage at which the arbitration proceedings have reached, the one-time arbitration fee has been fixed at Rs 15 lakh. The plaintiff and the defendant will jointly pay this amount.

“Given that the arbitration proceedings have been pending since 2017, the newly appointed arbitrator is requested to expedite the proceedings and complete the proceedings within four months of receipt of a certified copy of this order.” ‘

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