Although the article describes mediation in India, the excerpt shows how successful mediation can be in resolving disputes.


Mediation centres show the way for speedy justice
New Delhi, December 28: ACCORDING to the annual assessment of the Mediation Centre at Tis Hazari institutionalised “mediation” leads to speedy verdicts. And that the public’s preference for settlement and conciliation outside court is overriding the demand for pursuing matters through litigation.

The Centre, which has completed a year, deals in civil cases as well as criminal cases related to dowry, referred to it through higher courts. More than 900 of the 1,700 cases were settled and around 1,500 disposed from August 2005 to December 2006. Apart from this, more than 400 connected cases were settled under the guidance of a “mediator”.

As per statistical data provided by the Centre, on an average, around 136 minutes were spent on every case. Trials in courts, on the other hand, take anything between 4 to 40 years before the case is finally resolved. This year alone there are over 7 lakh pending cases in sessions courts.

“We believe the Mediation Centre will help reduce this load,” says B B Choudhary, Judge in charge at Tis Hazari.

The Centre provides free-of-cost services to litigants. A successful mediation, followed by a decree, entitles the plaintiff to a refund of court fees under terms of Section 16 of the Court Fees Act, 1870.

Delhi District Court Mediation Centres receive cases for mediation not only from all four district courts but also from the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court. Mediators are usually retired judges or practicing lawyers with at least 10 years in the Bar association, trained by international personnel. This year, two delegations from US and England visited the Centre and trained more than 30 judges.

The success of the Tis Hazari centre led to the coming up of one at Karkardooma in December last.