Background:

  • The Ministry of Law and Justice has made the Draft Mediation Bill, 2021, available to the public in order to solicit input and suggestions from all parties involved.

Why a Mediation Bill is required in India:

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Strengthening: The government has taken a number of policy steps to promote and improve ADR procedures.

  • It would make it easier to resolve disputes quickly outside of established court systems.
  • The effort is being continued by introducing a stand-alone statute on mediation.
  • Unify the various statutes, norms, and regulations pertaining to mediation:
  • The laws governing mediation are divided into numerous enactments, each with its own set of rules and regulations.
  • It was required to investigate the current legal environment for mediation.
  • The necessity for umbrella legislation that included revisions to current laws was frequently felt.
  • Aligning Indian Norms with International Practices: The Bill considers the international practice of referring to conciliation and mediation as interchangeable terms.
  • The Singapore Convention on Mediation is a treaty signed by India and other countries.
  • As a result, enacting a legislation in mediation on domestic and international mediation concerns has become necessary.

The Bill’s Objectives:

  • To advocate, encourage, and enable mediation, particularly institutional mediation, as a means of resolving business and other types of disputes.
  • To enforce domestic and international settlement agreements reached through mediation.
  • To establish a body for mediator registration and to promote community mediation.
  • It has been created to make online mediation an acceptable and cost-effective method, as well as for topics related to or incidental to it.

The Bill’s Main Features:

  • Pre-litigation mediation is proposed in the draft Bill.
  • At the same time, it protects litigants’ rights to contact competent adjudicatory forums/courts if they require immediate remedy.
  • The successful outcome of mediation has been made enforceable by law in the form of a Mediation Settlement Agreement (MSA).
  • Because the MSA is not part of the parties’ mutually agreed-upon agreement, it can only be challenged on limited grounds.
  • The mediation procedure safeguards the confidentiality of the mediation and, in some situations, gives immunity from disclosure.
  • Within 90 days, the MSA was registered with the State, District, and Taluk Legal Authorities.
  • To ensure that the settlement’s authenticated records are kept up to date.
  • The Indian Mediation Council will be established as a result of this bill.
  • It includes a provision for communal mediation.

Conclusion:

  • When given a correct legislative shape, the bill will allow for faster dispute resolution.
  • It would result in the plaintiffs’ faith in the government’s judicial and legislative branches being restored.

Source The Hindu

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