The concept of mediation is ancient and deep rooted in our country. In olden days disputes used to be resolved in a panchayat at the community level. Panches used to be called Panch Parmeshwar.
Now we have grown into a country of 125 crore people and with liberalization
and globalization, there is tremendous economic growth. All this has
led to explosion of litigation in our country. Though our judicial system
is one of the best in the world and is highly respected, but there is
lot of criticism on account of long delays in the resolution of disputes
in a court of law. Now an honest litigant is wary of approaching the
court for a decision of his dispute. Hence, we have turned to Alternative
Dispute Resolution mechanisms.
The legislature by the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1999, amended section 89 of the CPC with effect from 1.7.2002 whereby mediation was envisaged as one of the modes of settlement of disputes. The amendment in section 89 was made on the recommendation of the Law Commission of India and the Justice Malimath Committee. It was recommended by the Law Commission that the court may require attendance of parties to the suit or proceeding to appear in person with a view to arrive at an amicable settlement of the dispute between them and make an attempt to settle the dispute amicably. Justice Malimath Committee recommended making it obligatory for the court to refer the dispute, after issues are framed, for settlement either by way of arbitration, conciliation, mediation or judicial settlement through Lok Adalat. It is only when the parties fail to get their disputes settled through any of the alternative dispute resolution methods that the suit could proceed further. Thus section 89 has been introduced to promote alternative methods of dispute resolution.
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