Justice Ramana outlines ways to reverse pendency

He suggests three-pronged approach with focus on alternative dispute resolution

March 19, 2021 01:39 am | Updated 01:39 am IST - NEW DELHI

Supreme Court judge, Justice N.V. Ramana, has outlined a three-pronged approach, with special focus on alternative dispute resolution, to reverse the nearly 4 crore pendency in courts across the country.

Justice Ramana, who is next in line to be the Chief Justice of India as per the seniority norm, was speaking at the First Justice J.S. Verma Memorial ADR and Client Counselling Competition, organised by the Department of Law of the Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies (MAIMS) of IP University in association with National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).

The senior SC judge said improving judicial infrastructure through use of e-platforms and setting up of more courts, settling disputes at pre-litigation stage through counselling, strengthening the existing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism would go a long way in clearing the huge pendency of cases in courts.

Justice Ramana, who is presently also the Executive Chairman of NALSA, said in his address at the India International Centre that the huge pendency cannot be swept under the carpet and need to confronted without further delay. He said delays in litigation should be mended by referring disputes to ADR for settlement. ADR, he said, would provide succour to millions and would prove to be an effective counter to reduce pendency.

The Supreme Court judge said ADR is a participatory mechanism and its adoption would break traditional barriers in-built usually present in adversarial litigation in courts. In the ADR system, litigants from being “outsiders to the process” could become “insiders in the process”.

Justice Ramana highlighted the role of legal services authorities through ADR mechanism. He said 1,32,378 cases were resolved through mediation in 2019 and 2020.

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