Online Dispute Resolution – A Fillip to the Indian Infrastructure
Posted: May 14, 2018
India, being the nation which is experiencing never before progress, needs to manage mounting issues encompassing the country’s progress. So to deal with the issues that come all the way, there has to be an assistive legal framework. Such framework ought to guarantee social, efficient, and political equity. Also, in the meantime, it shall not cost society the incentives of development. In spite of the fact that there have been the well-established legal authorities and bodies, they were unable to cope with countless legal issues. There are heaps of cases which have been anticipating justice for a considerable length of time/decades. In the wake of which, the Government of India (GoI) asked its Ministry of Law and Justice to work for a solution for this long-pending problem and asked to use Information Technology, in pursuant with its ambitious program "Digital India", which was launched with an aim to democratise the fruits of digital technologies. Accordingly, the Ministry has crafted Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) portal, which could be an answer for the long pending question. Mr Akhilesh Srivastava, who is CGM of IT and Highway operations division in the National Highways Authority of India, has been one of the key persons who got involved in developing the architecture and functionality of ODR portal.
Through ODR portal, the disputed parties can directly approach the legal authorities and can cut their legal expenditure, which has been depriving justice for the needy. In addition to that, the time for delivering the justice could drastically come down, thereby avoiding delay in justice. There is a saying that "Justice delayed is justice denied". If ODR portal would start to operationalise in its full capacity, then one could say that justice can reach the doorsteps of the needy in a fast way. Thus, utilizing the ODR portal, the prosecutor and the contenders can expect a time-bound settlement of the issues. Beginning from enrolling a case to hearing a case, everything is going to get computerized with the ODR portal. The negative issues of the age-old legal system in India could be negated with this much-awaited ODR portal.
The Ministry of Law and Justice, which was tasked to look after the development of ODR portal, asked Construction Industry Arbitration Council (CIAC) to walk with it in developing ODR portal. The Construction Industry Arbitration Council (CIAC) was set up under Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) and Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). The CIAC appointed an advisory group to come up with solutions and suggestions regarding ODR portal.
The advisory group containing Mr Akhilesh Srivastava, CGM (IT and Highways tasks) of NHAI and Dr P.R.Swarup, Director General of CIDC was set up under the chairmanship of Mr ArijitPasayal, a retired judge. This advisory group came up with proposals relating to changes in the task of ODR portal. It suggested involving the young and tech-savvy professionals in this project of developing ODR portal. In this way, this ODR portal will pave ways for interested professionals in the arbitration sector.
Construction sector in India is going to breathe a sigh of relief, if the ODR portal comes into force as many of the construction-related projects were stalled, which in turn is leading to the escalation of the project cost. So, the nation hopes ODR portal could address and redress its long-pending issues.
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Varshakhare is a software engineer with extensive experience and management skills and works for a hi-tech marketing company. VarshaKhare has a B.SC in computer sciences from the Lovely Professional University.