- Mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution process; this bill aims at people to try to settle their civil or commercial disputes through the mediation process prior to approaching the court. It makes participation in pre-litigation matters mandatory.
- There will be a Mediation Council of India set up to register the mediators, recognise the mediation services and also provide training through certified mediators in mediation institutions.
- A list of disputes that are not included under the mediation process is also given.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution is where the disputes are settled outside the court. This method of dispute resolution is cost-effective, quick and efficient, this method also reduces the burden upon the courts too.
- The various methods involved are Arbitration, Conciliation, Mediation, Negotiation and Lok Adalat.
- Mediation is a process wherein the parties try to settle the disputes out of court with the assistance of an independent third person called the mediator; he doesnot give away the solution but rather ensures that the parties reach to a conclusion and resolve their dispute.
THE MEDIATION BILL 2021
- The Mediation bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The main objective of the bill was to promote and facilitate mediation in Indiaand propose a codified law on Mediation. It also aims at encouraging community mediation;online mediation is acceptable and also enables the citizens to a cost-effective process of dispute resolution.
KEY FEATURES OF THE BILL
- The bill is applicable to all the mediation processes conducted within India. It shall be applicable to international mediations only if the same is conducted in India.
- The Bill mandates pre-litigation mediation in all disputes concerning commercial or civil wrongs. This would help in lessening the burden of the courts enabling more out-of-court settlements.
- The Bill has set out the list of disputes that shall not be mandated for mediations in India, they include matters relating to claims against minors or unsound persons, and matters with respect to criminal prosecution. But the same is not exclusive the central government can in time and now amend with regards to the object of the said Bill.
- The Bill aims for the establishment of the Mediation Council of India wherein it regulates, recognises and registers the mediation process, mediation service providers and institutes respectively. It lays down standards for the professional conduct of the mediators, the service providers and also the institutes mentioned above.
- The Bill provides that before issuing any regulations approval from the central government is required. Though the same is questionable as to the role of the Mediation Council, it is mandated under the Bill.
- The Bill also provides for community mediations wherein any dispute affectspeace and harmony of the locality or community as a whole.
- The Bill aims to establish and also recognise the online mediation as a mode to conduct pre-litigation mediation.
- Party can withdraw from mediation after the competition of the first two mediation sessions that the Bill also provides for a time limit as to the mediation process shall be completed within 180 days from the date of commencement and an additional 180 days can be given with the consent of both the parties.
- Thus, with this Bill the ministry aims to improve the alternative dispute resolution mechanism thereby providing for out-of-court settlements and helping lessen the court’s burden. The codified law for mediation enabling the same to be mandatory is a step ahead and definitely efficient. But there still exists a few aspects wherein detailed inputs must be put on so as to not make it arbitrary.