SC notice to Centre on plea for SOP mandating pre-litigation mediation

Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking formulation of standard operating procedure (SOP) for mandating pre-litigation mediation across the country to reduce pendency of cases.

A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, A.S. Bopanna, and V. Ramasubramanian issued notices to the Ministry of Law and Justice and various high courts on the plea.

Issue notice returnable in four weeks, the bench said.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by Youth Bar Association of India and advocate Sanpreet Singh Ajmani which suggested that alternate and pre-litigation processes be made mandatory to reduce pendency of cases in various courts.

Also read | Opinion: Settling disputes out of court

According to the petition, use of alternate dispute resolution mechanisms will help to control frivolous matters coming up for hearing by giving an opportunity to parties to settle their disputes amicably before any litigation can start.

The plea contended that pre-litigation mediation is an attempt to resolve the dispute among the parties amicably with the help of neutral third party called Mediator before going to the court or even before filing litigation or sending a notice.

It gives a chance to both the parties to end the dispute in a win-win position. In it issues can be sorted out sooner and this process is inexpensive compared to the expenditure incurred at every stage of the case/issues in litigation.

To reduce the number of pending cases, the Government should work on a mechanism to introduce a pre-litigation mediation process, so that avoidable cases can be prevented from reaching the courts and settle the issue effectively, the plea said.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 4:56:34 PM |

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