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  • 10 January, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

Mediation Bill 2021 - Detailed Overview

A Bill that could alter the Mediation landscape

The background behind Mediation Bill:

In General, Disputes Became part and parcel of Day-to-Day Life. Someone or the Other belonging to family or else not a part of the family would be fighting for something. These Disputes may be for Smaller or Bigger issues sometimes leading to Criminal offences also. Many criminal offences are a result of civil or commercial disputes which can be solved by talking patiently and in a calm attitude. Sometimes when these disputes are reported to police, they consider in a lighter manner or even reduce the seriousness of the issue by converting cognisable into a non-cognisable offence. Because of the time delay issue in resolving the case by police, it may lead to serious consequences also.

Therefore comes the law of Mediation in which not only prevents the breakdown of Law and Order through Community Intervention but also makes similar issues solving in a comfortable manner in which Police and Law personnel can have some relief and thus reduce their pressure over their duties.

Expressed in these laws :

In India, there is no specific law for Mediation. Tamil Nadu is the only state in the country that took the Initiative in 2005 by the Madras High Court to form Mediation and Conciliation centre in each District which significantly reduced the pending cases. Even Mediation law is observed in some of the specific laws like the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, the Arbitration and Conciliation act 1996, the Commercial Courts act 2015, the Companies act 2013, the Consumer Protection Act 2019 Etc…..

Mediation Bill Scope :

The Mediation Bill 2021 says to promote mediation ( including online ) and provide for enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation. Therefore the first priority should be given for mediation to solve any type of disputes like civil or commercial disputes instead of reaching to courts or tribunals but all issues can’t be solved through mediation like criminal offences, allegations of serious and specific frauds, fabrication of documents and forgery, impersonation, coercion Etc….

There are certain provisions in the bill that can enhance the Law and Order situations and reduce the burden over Police and Law Depts……

  1. Section 7 of the bill says that courts can decide any dispute for mediation related to compoundable and matrimonial issues which are the outcome of civil proceedings.
  2. Section 44 of the bill says that any dispute likely to affect peace, harmony, and Tranquillity among the residents or families of any area or locality will be settled through Community Mediation which in turn shall not be enforceable as a judgement of a civil court.
  3. The provisions of the act shall not have any overlapping issue with other laws like the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act 2007, the Sexual Harassment of women at workplace ( Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal ) act 2013.

The law to prevent the sexual harassment of women at the workplace will be resolved by the Local or Internal Complaint Committee by conciliation and detailed procedure and similarly, the other one welfare and parents act will be under cognisable offences. Even Section 320 of the code of criminal procedure ( CrPC ) provides the mediation of certain criminal offences which have the effect of acquittal of the accused. Even the recommendations of the Law Commission in its 243rd report says section 498A of the Indian Penal Code relating to cruelty by the husband or his relatives can also be solved through Mediation instead of reaching police or tribunals.

Therefore the aim of the policy is to promote Friendliness between the dispute members. The Chief Justice of India in reference to India – Singapore Mediation Summit said Mediation should be the Primary Mandatory step that could be cheaper and faster in the Dispute resolution mechanism. “ Mediation for everyone: Realizing mediations potential in India”

Even while addressing the Curtain Raiser and Stakeholders Conclave of International Arbitration and Mediation Centre ( IAMC ) at Hyderabad, CJI said that courts should be the last resort for Dispute Resolution. Therefore all should hold the responsibility of solving the disputes through a Mediation mechanism instead of running to police and courts.

Source: TH

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