Settling of cases through Lok Adalat and Arbitration

New Delhi : It is the endeavour of the Government that judiciary and legislature work together for making reforms in the judicial system to reduce burden of cases and deliver speedy justice. The Government is promoting ADR mechanisms including arbitration and mediation as these mechanisms are less adversarial and are capable of providing a better substitute to the conventional methods of resolving disputes. The use of ADR mechanisms is also expected to reduce the burden on the judiciary and thereby enable timely justice dispensation to citizens of the country.

To ensure resolution of commercial disputes expeditiously and at a reasonable cost to litigants, the Government has enacted the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 thereby enabling establishment of commercial courts. The Commercial Courts Act, 2015 was amended in the year 2018 to provide for Pre-Institution Mediation and Settlement (PIMS) mechanism. Under this mechanism, where a commercial dispute of specified value does not contemplate any urgent interim relief, the parties have to first exhaust the mandatory remedy of PIMS before approaching the Court. This is aimed at providing an opportunity to the parties to resolve the commercial disputes through mediation.

The Government has amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in the years 2015, 2019 and 2021, to signal a paradigm shift towards ensuring timely conclusion of arbitration proceedings, minimizing judicial intervention in the arbitral process, enforcement of arbitral awards and strengthening of institutional arbitration in the country.

The Government has also introduced the Mediation Bill, 2021, in the Rajya Sabha on 20.12.2021 to enact a standalone law on Mediation. The Bill aims to inter-alia promote, encourage and facilitate mediation for resolution of disputes, commercial or otherwise, enforce mediation settlement agreements and to establish the Mediation Council of India.

This information was given by Minister for Law and Justice, Shri Kiren Rijiju in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

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