Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam on Thursday urged lawyers to persuade their clients to go for Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism in cases wherever it was feasible.

The aim of a lawyer should be to resolve the grievances of a client by exploring all available legal options rather than solely through advocacy, which had become prominent in recent years.

He urged the Bar to persuade their clients, particularly in industrial disputes, to go for amicable settlement.

Speaking at a function got up by the Coimbatore Bar Association to felicitate him, he said: “Litigation can often be unnecessary and even potentially destructive to the parties. The alternative mechanism is more advisable in many cases. However, the role of lawyers is vital as they have to advise their clients to go for mediation in appropriate cases.” The Union Government, he said, was providing adequate funds for conducting Lok Adalat and other mediation services. A National Lok Adalat has been scheduled for November 23. Chief justices of all high courts have been notified. Justice Sathasivam said that he had written to all chief justices to send monthly status reports on progress of sensitive cases such as rape and other crimes against women.

With newer forms of crime such as terrorism, video piracy, cyber crime, and land grab on the rise, new avenues of laws have opened up in sectors like human rights, cyber laws, and intellectual property rights. As such, lawyers must be accommodative of these new developments.

Speaking about the modernisation drive undertaken by the Supreme Court, Justice Sathasivam said that lawyers and litigants of the Supreme Court were now informed of the case details such as the date of hearing and details of the Bench through SMS. On the demand for a Circuit Bench of the Madras High Court in Coimbatore, he said that a decision would be taken in accordance with accepted principles.

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