Indian Government has been working hard to improve its ease of doing business ranking before the World Bank. As part of this exercise, Indian Government took a bold step and promulgated the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Ordinance, 2019. A notification issued by the Central Government to acquire properties of ICADR was challenged by ICADR before Delhi High Court that initially granted the stay. However, on 16-05-2019, the stay was vacated (Pdf) and now Central Government would soon take complete control of assets of ICADR.
All this exercise has been done so that India can be a hub for institutional Arbitration. We welcome this effort of Indian Government. But if even after NeGP and Digital India projects all that the Government can think of is alternative dispute resolution(ADR) that proves serious lack of Techno Legal expertise on the part of Government.
We have launched Techno Legal projects like TeleLaw, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), etc to make India a hub for Techno Legal fields and Indian Government is not willing to move ahead. The Government needs not to even do anything and all that it is required to do is to support and adopt already established projects of PTLB. For reasons best known to Indian Government it is lingering too much with traditional legal and judicial functioning and is not willing to adopt technology and projects like TeleLaw, ODR, etc.
What we have deduced from this episode is that Indian policies and approach towards technology and ODR are too cautious. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and Indian Government can use the services of Startups in this regard. We are not saying that Indian Government should avail the services of Startups like PTLB alone but if it wants India to be a Techno Legal hub choosing Startups like PTLB would be a smart move.
Like in the past, we at PTLB are once more expressing our interest and intention to work in collaboration with Indian Government so that India can be a premier Techno Legal destination. The final call is for the Indian Government to take whether it would continue with its ADR preference or is bold enough to realise the dream of India becoming a hub for Techno Legal services.