June 17: In its endeavor for faster settlement of claims through conciliation and reduce liabilities thereby, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has rigorously started the process of conciliation by constituting three Conciliation Committees of Independent Experts (CCIE) of three members each. These Conciliation Committees are being headed by retired officials from the judiciary, senior experts from public administration, finance and from private sector.
As per Arbitration Act 2015 and its amendment in 2019, all the arbitration disputes are to be settled within a period of 12~18 months. However, the possibility of resolution of claims within 12 months is very less, as it involves various procedures. At the same time, the conciliation route ensures amicable settlement of claims in faster, fairer and transparent manner. Conciliation-cum-Settlement proceedings are completed in each case through five sittings within a period of not more than six months from the day, the reference is made to CCIE. Moreover, Conciliation as per Arbitration & Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 is more robust, much faster process and settlement arrived through this process have same legal value as of an Arbitral Award or decree of Court.
Till Now, 108 cases have been referred to CCIE and claims worth Rs, 13,349 cr. have been successfully settled for an amount of Rs. 3,743 cr. NHAI is working on a fast track mode to resolve all the disputes through conciliation. It will not only reduce the legal hassles of both the parties in a long-drawn arbitration process but the money stuck in arbitral cases can be unlocked for revival of private sector.