The Delhi High Court today posted for final hearing on April 15, the petitions challenging the establishment of New Delhi International Arbitration Centre.
A direction to this effect was passed by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh while hearing a petition preferred by International Centre For Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR).
In its petition filed in 2019, ICADR had challenged the constitutional validity of the promulgation of an ordinance establishing the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre.
It had nonetheless directed that all the pending arbitration cases with ICADR shall be permitted to be carried out in the same manner as they were being done prior to the issuance of the ordinance.
Similarly, all seminars, conferences and other training activities already fixed by ICADR shall also be carried out as scheduled. The Court had thus directed the custodian to provide all assistance for the same to ICADR.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma today sought restitution of monies withdrawn by ICADR during the pendency of the petition and the complete account details arguing that the ICADR’s petition did not survive anymore as the ordinance had become an Act.
He also argued that while the present petition was claimed to be filed on behalf of its members for the protection of their rights under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, the members included the Chief Justice of India and others Judges of the Supreme Court.
“Is it conceivable that they (Judges) would be asking for 19(1)(g)? Where is the resolution granting him (the signatory) authority to file the petition on behalf of the members?“, ASG Sharma questioned.
“This is matter which would have huge ramifications,” he added.
In response, Senior Advocate AS Chandhiok stated that the members of ICADR were lawyers, and not judges.
The judges are ex-offico members of the committee, he added.
Chandhiok also stated that the Central government was already in possession of the bank account details and the spending.
After briefly hearing the parties, the Court proceeded to list the matter for final hearing.