Mediation yet to start visibly in India: Judges

Agartala: Despite the Law Commission’s suggestion to go for mediation as an alternative system of settling disputes, the process is yet to start visibly in India, Tripura High Court judges have said.

“The process is yet to start noticeably though the system is a well accepted method in the US,” high court judge Subhashish Talapatra said.

Speaking at a two-day event on mediation here Saturday evening, he said that since 2008 only five cases were reported to have been settled through mediation.

“The Supreme Court, on a number of occasions, said that any court can refer suitable cases for settling through mediation,” said Talapatra, who is in charge of mediation for Tripura.

He stated that settling cases through mediation incur minimal costs and improve relations among the parties involved in the litigation.

Tripura High Court Chief Justice Deepak Gupta said people in India hesitate to come to court because of expenses and long drawn processes.

He said that advocates must promote and encourage mediation.

“If people are convinced that their litigation would resolve very quickly with reasonable costs, the filing of cases would increase at least three to four times,” he said.

Justice Gupta, however, said: “Mediation in judiciary is an American concept. However, it cannot be executed in India as the situation in our country is a bit different.”

Tripura High Court Bar Association president K.N. Bhattacharjee said the government should promote the alternative mechanism of settling cases such as mediation, conciliation, arbitration and Lok Adalats.

A Tripura High Court release said the Supreme Court set up a mediation and conciliation project committee (MCPC) in 2005 to encourage amicable resolution of disputes.