Litigants, lawyers and judiciary are benefited by alternative dispute resolution methods.

Supreme Court judge Madan B. Lokur on Saturday stressed the need for making lawyers and judicial officers aware of the possibilities of the mediation process.

Inaugurating the South zone regional conference on mediation organised jointly by the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee, Supreme Court, Kerala High Court and the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KELSA), he said judicial officers had a role to play in selecting cases which could be referred to the alternative methods of dispute resolution such as mediation, arbitration and Lok Adalat. They had to apply their mind and decide which case would be suitable for referring to such forums.

He also said that mediation was the best option to resolve disputes. The fear of the lawyers that they would lose their revenue on account of the alternative disputes redressal methods was misplaced. They could get the disputes resolved fast and thereby attract more clients. The litigants, lawyers and judiciary were all benefited by the alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation.

Speaking at the function, Supreme Court judge Arjan Kumar Sikri said that it was a win-win situation for both the parties in alternative disputes resolution process. Mediation was the best method of achieving justice for both the parties. In the adversarial system of disputes resolution, only one of the parties wins. On the other hand, mediation advocacy provided a better solution.

Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court Manjula Chellur, who presided, said that community mediation undertaken by the State mediation and conciliation centre had borne fruits.

The long-drawn-out dispute over the Sivagiri mutt administration had been settled through a mediation process undertaken on the initiative of the High Court. In some cases, the intervention of the centre had reduced the intensity of the animosity between the parties.

The intervention of the centre facilitated settlement of the strike by nurses. Though the mediation process was not able to settle the church disputes, it had reduced the animosity between the two factions.

Justice S.Siri Jagan, president, Board of Governors, Kerala State Mediation and Conciliation Centre, welcomed the gathering and Harun-Ul-Rashid, member, Board of Governors, proposed a vote of thanks. Justice Sikri also released a newsletter of the centre by handing over a copy to the Chief Justice.

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