Justice Hemant Gupta appointed as Chairperson of New Delhi International Arbitration Centre two months after his retirement from Supreme Court

Justice Gupta had garnered notoriety for his judgment in October upholding the ban on the hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka, as part of the split verdict of a division bench of the Supreme Court.


TWO months after his retirement, Justice Hemant Gupta, former judge of the Supreme Court, has been appointed as Chairperson of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (‘NDIAC’). Lawyers Ganesh Chandru and Anant Vijay Palli were also appointed as part-time members in the NDIAC.

Justice Gupta hogged the limelight for his verdict in response to a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court’s judgment upholding the ban on wearing the hijab in educational institutions. He had dismissed all the appeals affirming the hijab ban while his colleague on the bench, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, in his separate decision, set aside the high court order.

Senior advocate and Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal took to Twitter to call Justice Gupta’s post retirement assignment ‘unfortunate’. “Pre-retirement judges are influenced by the desire for a post-retirement job”, he said, recalling former Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who had once said the same in Parliament.

NDIAC was established on June 13 under the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act, 2019.

The NDIAC, among other things, provides cost-effective and timely services for the conduct of arbitration and conciliation at the national and international levels, facilitates conduct of international and domestic arbitration and conciliation, and imparts training in alternative dispute resolution and related matters in the fields of arbitration, conciliation and mediation.

As per the government, its purpose is to bring reforms in the field of arbitration and conciliation, and to develop it as a flagship institution for domestic and international arbitration. It will facilitate and provide administrative assistance for the conduct of arbitration and conciliation proceedings in a professional and time-bound manner, and in the most cost-effective way. Besides, it will also set up an arbitration chamber to empanel professional arbitrators at the national and international levels, and set up an Arbitration Academy to train arbitrators in India so as to empower them to compete on par with reputed arbitral institutions across the world.