What is Mediation?

The Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran  to persuade anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters to end their blockade of a public road. This was an attempt at court-ordered mediation to resolve an issue of road-blockade.

mediationWhat is Mediation?

  • It is a procedure to amicably resolve a dispute between two contesting parties, with minimum intervention of the court.
  • It comes under the Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) mechanisms as referred to under Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code.
  • The Section reads: “Where it appears to the Court that there exist elements of a settlement which may be acceptable to the parties, the Court shall formulate the terms of settlement and give them to the parties for their observations and after receiving the observations of the parties, the Court may reformulate the terms of a possible settlement and refer the same for (a) arbitration; (b) conciliation; (c) judicial settlement including settlement through Lok Adalat; or (d) mediation.”
  • The Supreme Court has also emphasised the effectiveness of mediation to address commercial disputes.
  • Last month, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde pitched for a comprehensive law on making pre-litigation mediation mandatory.

Pros :

  1. It is relatively inexpensive.
  2. Mediation is relatively swift.
  3. It is relatively simple.
  4. Mediation allows the parties to revise and adjust the scope of their conflict.
  5. It allows for flexible solutions and settlements.
  6. Settlements reached in it are more agreeable to both parties than court judgments.

Cons :

  1. Mediation does not always result in a settlement agreement. Parties might spend their time and money in mediation only to find that they must have their case settled for them by a court. .
  2. It lacks the procedural and constitutional protections guaranteed by the federal and state courts.
  3. Legal precedent cannot be set in mediation. .
  4. It has no formal discovery process.

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