- 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.
- 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