Kerala High Court Judge Justice S. Siri Jagan said that leaving some of the cases to mediation will help the courts to focus more on cases that needed its attention and thereby ensure justice.

He was speaking at the sensitisation programme for media persons, advocates, people’s representatives and NGOs in the district on mediation organised by Kerala State Mediation and Conciliation Centre (KSMCC) at the Press Club hall here on Sunday.

Mr. Jagan, who is also the member of the Board of Governors of KSMCC, said that due to the ignorance on mediation on the part of the people in the State has led to Kerala not making much breakthrough in settling cases through mediation.

Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan of the Kerala High Court, who is the president of KSMCC said that as of now 25 per cent of cases in courts in Kerala which were referred to mediation were being settled. “The success rate is 65 per cent in Delhi, while that of Bangalore is more than that,” he said.

The mediation centre started at High Court in 2009 is now in 14 districts and in two sub-districts---in Mavelikara and North Paravur.

“We are sensitising the public also by bringing out skits to bring about awareness among the public,” he said.

He said that advocates with 15 years of service can work as mediators with training.

Free of cost

“Mediation in which the disputes are settled through the intervention of an impartial third person is free of cost. The mediation process should be concluded in a maximum of 60 days,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

Mr. Jagan pointed out that in mediation, the mediator has no power to impose any decision on the parties.

“Also, mediators or for that matter any aspect of mediation could not be allowed as evidence or witness in the trial of the case,” Mr. Jagan said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said that the Sivagiri mutt dispute case, Piravom church case and case involving the nurses’ issue in Mother Hospital were settled through mediation, while in Kolencherry church case, though mediation did not succeed, it helped in avoiding bloodshed.

District and sessions judge, Alappuzha, P. Somarajan, Alappuzha Additional Sessions Judge, K. M. Muhammed Yusuff, V.Satheesh, president, Alappuzha Bar Association and S.D.Venukumar, president, Press Club, Alappuzha also spoke.