In these tough times of inflation, unemployment, crime, anger, greed,
impatience, almost everyone has some kind of dispute with somebody else, may be
its personal, matrimonial, commercial, property related or of any other kind,
due to which, our Hon'ble Courts are excessively burdened.
Actually, there are
two modes of addressing the said disputes i.e. one is litigation and the other
is mediation and conciliation. In the litigation mode, the parties normally
spend a huge amount of cost, time, relations, etc. etc, whereas the other mode
of dispute resolution i.e. Mediation is totally informal, cost saving, time
saving, people friendly, less complicated and allows the parties to communicate
with each other to the root cause of their conflict, identify their underlying
interests and helps them focus on finding out the solution themselves. It also
helps in strengthening and rebuilding of the relationships.
Now a days, most of
the disputes can be resolved with Mediation, which should be used by the parties
at the first instance, before approaching the Hon'ble Courts, which are bound by
Law and Statutes only. Mediation as a mode of resolving disputes amongst the
parties would also save the judicial time as well. As per the Cambridge
Dictionary, Mediation is "the process of talking to two separate people or
groups involved in a disagreement to try to help them to agree or find a
solution to their problems." Black's Law Dictionary defines Mediation as:
method of non- binding dispute resolution involving a neutral third party who
tries to help the disputing parties to reach a mutually agreeable
Mediation has to be resorted first against the traditional mode of
litigation to resolve the disputes, because it is affordable, fair and
impartial, confidential, saves time and money, avoids litigation, fosters
cooperation, improves communication, identifies underlying issues, creates
personalized solutions. There are stages of Mediation Process, like Introduction
and Opening Statement; Joint Session; Caucus or Separate Session & Closing.
Their objective is to establish neutrality, create an awareness and
understanding of the process, develop rapport with the parties, gain confidence
and trust of the parties, establish an environment that is conducive to
constructive negotiations, motivate the parties for an amicable settlement of
the dispute and establish control over the process. Infact, the concept of
Mediation is quite ancient in India.
This process was tried to be adopted by
Lord Krishna for mediating between Kauravas & Pandavas, even in normal routines,
the family elders try to resolve domestic issues, then panchayats also, etc.
etc. There exists a strong culture of mediation in India. Moreso, a large number
of Statues also provide for Mediation as a mode of settlement of disputes
between the parties, like:
- Industrial Disputes Act, 1947,
- Code of Civil Procedure, 1908;
- Legal Services Authority Act, 1987;
- Companies Act, Micro, Small
and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Act, 2006;
- Hindu Marriage Act, 1955;
- Special Marriage Act, 1954;
- Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016;
- Commercial Courts Act, 2015;
- Consumer Protection Act and so on.
Now a days, the Hon'ble Courts also take extreme steps to help the parties to resolve their
disputes amicably through Mediation. Thus, it is important to spread its
awareness amongst the public. Many relationships can be saved through mediation,
whereby the burden of cases upon the Hon'ble courts will also reduce.
of the hour is to resort to mediation not as an Alternate Dispute Resolution
mode but as a Primary mode of Dispute Resolution. Encouraging Mediation would
certainly be helping for ensuring speedy delivery of justice.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Sapan Dhir
Practicing Advocate in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh and former Vice President of High Court Bar Association.
Authentication No: SP125215065969-09-0921