Breakfast Meeting: Smart Business Infrastructure – The Legal Framework
The ‘Make in India’ campaign, along with the government’s intention to ease the pain of doing business in India, has increased the competition between states to attract investment, hence, the Tamil Nadu Chapter Executive Committee felt the need to provide members with a better understanding of the complexity of the legal system in the country. On 28th July, AmCham organized a breakfast meeting focused on smart business infrastructure – the legal framework and invited Mr. P.H. Arvindh Pandian, Senior Advocate and Additional Advocate General, Tamil Nadu, to address members.
Mr. P.H. Arvindh Pandian is an expert in corporate and tax laws with over 15 years’ experience. His credentials include being a member of the committee constituted by the Ministry of Finance in 2002 for examining the provisions of section 72A of the Income Tax Act relating to mergers and demergers. He is an accredited mediator of the Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre under the auspices of the Madras High Court and a trainer for mediation process.
Mr. Pandian began his address to members by stating that the Indian legal system has been inherited from the British and has its own set of complex laws. This coupled with the huge backlog of cases in the courts is quite a deterrent to a business entity which needs speedy resolution to a contentious issue. He said that for winning a case in court, one needs a good case, good evidence, a good witness, a good judge and most importantly good luck.
Mr. Pandian said that to obtain speedy justice, alternate methods such as arbitration and mediation can be tried. He said that today many smart and intelligent youngsters are taking to the legal profession as it is well paying and satisfying providing challenges all the way. He added that mediation is a new and exclusive career option for the younger lawyers with sharp wit and intelligence. When the High Court deems a case to be mediated, it refers the case to a centre and allots two people, explained Mr. Arvindh Pandian. He said that, sometimes, clients directly approach a mediator for an out of court settlement. Mediation helps clients solve their problems. Everything is kept confidential and discussions are confidential. Mediation is done only by trained persons who do extensive research on client background and earn their trust. Mediators have a good rapport with their clients. Mediation is very successful and can be applied to a variety of cases such as labour management disputes, motor accident claims and matrimonial disputes etc.
Mr. Pandian also spoke about arbitration to resolve disputes arising from international commercial agreements and other international relationships in the country. To provide an effective mechanism for resolution of disputes through arbitration, the Arbitration Act, 1940, was introduced in the country. Subsequently, it was amended by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Arbitration is an option to providing an effective platform for resolution and reduce the burden of courts. Mr. Pandian added that the recent verdicts by the Supreme Court and high courts on the law of arbitration are in tune with international arbitration laws for disputes involving cross-border transactions.