By Dr. Durga Lakshmi in Article, Pages

Arbitration is a form of alternate dispute resolution, where the parties to a dispute agree to submit their respective positions to a neutral third-party arbitrator for resolution.

Nani Palkhivala Arbitration Centre is a non-profit company registered under the Companies Act 1956, with the aim of providing a world class facility to conduct arbitration proceedings and also to make it a center of excellence in the matter of institutional arbitration. NPAC also provides advisory services relating to drafting and finalising arbitration agreements to enable institutional arbitration.

The purpose of establishing the Centre is to provide quick, efficient and cost-effective arbitration services and to disseminate infromation relating to arbitration.

The Director of Income Tax (Exemptions) has accorded approval u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961 in respect to donations received by the Centre.

Advantages of Arbitration

It is much more cost effective than litigation in conventional courts.

Parties can choose their arbitrators proceedings can be regulated by rules that are simple and easy to apply and follow.

Provides for speedier resolution of disputes and can be done at times convenient to parties.

Less stressful than litigation.

Solution oriented

Areas of Conflict where arbitration can be applied

Any civil dispute which a Civil Court is competent to hear can be resolved by arbitration. However arbitration cannot be used in respect of disputes, the resolution of which, have been by law referred exclusively to specialised tribunals or other statutory authorities.

The process of Arbitration can be usefully applied in cases/disputes relating to the following:

Civil Engineering disputes.

Transaction of Public Sector undertakings

Shipping transactions

Intellectual Property matters

Disputes with or amongst members of Chambers of Commerce/ Trade Associations

Property disputes

Partnership disputes

Banking transactions

Insurance transactions

Foreign collaborations and joint venture transactions

The function of the centre is to provide for resolution of disputes referred to it by process of arbitration in accordance with the rules provided by the Centre as also to provide administrative services to arbitration and the proper conduct of the arbitral proceedings are supervised by the Secretariat of the Centre.

Ad Hoc Arbitration is held in all three halls regularly.

Institutional Arbitration

One of the goals of the NPAC is to promote institutional arbitration. In this regard, institutional roles are made available to the parties, arbitrators and institutions. NPAC has its own institutional rules which could be incorporated in all existing and pre-existing contracts between the parties. NPAC panel of arbitrators are outstanding persons of eminence representing the bar, commerce, education, trade and industry. They include retired judges of various High Courts, Retired civil servants (Both IAS and IPS officers), Chartered Engineers, Chartered Accountants, senior counsels of the Supreme Court and Madras High Court.


The facilities at NPAC include three halls with a computer, projector, printer, photocopier, etc which are also made available to the public to conduct arbitration proceedings from 10am to 8pm, 7 days a week, except on national holidays. There is a well-equipped library and Wi-Fi is available in all the rooms.

NPAC thus provides administrative services relating to:

Providing court halls to conduct arbitration proceedings

Secretarial and other support staff assistance

Any services incidental to the conflict of Arbitration services


Dr. Durga Lakshmi

Dr. J. Durgalakshmi, our Registrar is a Doctorate holder with extensive experience in the field of education. She runs educational courses in arbitration, conducts seminars and conferences, raises visibility by speaking at meetings and meeting companies to explain what institutional arbitration can provide and how it can be of benefit.