I am a practising advocate in Ernakulam, an accredited mediator and subscriber to The Hindu. I am compelled to write this letter on account of the comment of Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj titled “Towards better institutional justice”.
The article promotes the cause of providing security on the court premises to litigants, especially to victims of sexual harassment.
The incident referred to in the article occurred when the complainant and accused were directed by a judge of the High Court to appear in person before court in an effort to patch up the dispute. It is alleged that the accused and his lawyer, along with a public prosecutor, intimidated the complainant, in front of the judge’s chamber.
On reading the article, the reader might get the impression that the incident occurred during the mediation process as the entire emphasis in the article is on mediation.
As a result, one gets an impression that parties who come for mediation run the risk of being confronted by the other side and there is no safeguard in place to prevent such an occurrence. Such an impression is unfortunate as the above incident had nothing to do with mediation and the bail application was not referred to the mediation centre.
Neither the High Court mediation centre nor any of the mediators was involved in the case.
The High Court mediation centre ensures that the parties are comfortable and secure when they participate in the mediation process. The mediation conducted in the High Court mediation centre is based on tolerance, peace and security, as it should be.
The (probably unintentional) effect of the article to mix up the mediation process with the unsavoury incident on the High Court premises is, to say the least, unfortunate.
P.M. Mohammad Shiraz, Advocate & accredited mediator