Kishanganga: India Invites Pakistan To Finalise Umpires

Kishanganga: India Invites Pakistan To Finalise Umpires

16 June 2010
The Indian Express
Ravish Tiwari

New Delhi: As the legal dispute between India and Pakistan over 330 MW Kishanganga hydel project heads to the international court of arbitration, India has invited Pakistan to finalise the names of three neutral umpires for the seven-member bench. Government sources said India has proposed July 7 for this crucial discussion with Pakistan. The move came soon after India decided to nominate Justice Peter Tomka of the International Court of Justice and Swiss international law expert Lucius Caflisch to the court of arbitration after the issue was discussed in the Cabinet Committee of Security last week. Last month, Pakistan had nominated Justice Bruno Simma of the International Court of Justice and Jan Paulsson, the Norwegian head of an international law firm. The bench will be complete after the nomination of the three neutral judges. Government sources said efforts would be made to get a 'consensus' choice of India and Pakistan for the three neutral experts. However, in case both sides fail to agree on the names of the umpires, they will have to resort to a lottery system to appoint these umpires. One of the umpires would head the bench, one would be a legal expert and the other a technical expert. In case there is no consensus between the two countries, there would be a lottery between the choice of Chairman of the World Bank and that of UN Secretary General. Similarly, when consensus eludes for the legal expert, there would be a lottery between the choice of Chief Justice of US Federal Court and that of the Lord Chief Justice of England. Likewise, for the neutral technical umpire, it will be a lottery between the MIT and Imperial College, London. Sources said it is likely to take three to four months - ie around October - before the court of arbitration formally starts hearing the dispute. No decision has been taken on India's counsel for the court of arbitration. The options include noted jurist Fali S Nariman and R K P Shankar Dass, both of whom had argued India’s case in the Baglihar project case.


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