The Youth Bar Association (YBA) of India has approached the Supreme Court with a suggestion that alternate and pre-litigation processes be made mandatory to avoid adding to the huge pendency already existing in courts across the country. The YBA says that the use of alternate dispute resolution mechanisms will help control frivolous and vexatious matters coming up for litigation by affording an opportunity to parties to come together and settle their disputes amicably before any litigation can commence. The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna, and Justice V. Ramasubramanian today issued notice. Highlighting the purpose of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), governed by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and the Civil procedure Code, 1908 particularly section 89 of CPC, the petitioner has submitted that “with the introduction of these provisions, a mandatory duty has been cast on the civil courts to endeavor for settlement of disputes relegating the parties to an ADR process. “The object of the introduction of Section 89 was to ensure that Courts make an endeavor to facilitate out-of-court settlement through any of the five ADR methods as referred to in Section 89: (a) Arbitration, (b) Conciliation, (c) Judicial settlement, (d) Settlement through Lok Adalat, and (e) Mediation.” Referring to a 2013 judgment of the Supreme Court in K. Srinivas Rao vs D.A. Deepa, in which the Supreme Court had directed to set up pan India mediation centers in order to settle matrimonial disputes at the pre-litigation stage where only 3 High Courts complied with the directions, the petitioner has prayed for institutionalized pre-litigation mediation model for Youth Bar Association of India.

Credit: Aadhithiya Moorthy

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