Regional Conference on Mediation by Punjab and Haryana High Court

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NewZNew (Chandigarh) : A 2-day Regional Conference on Mediation for Zone-I was organized today by Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh Judicial Academy. Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC) constituted by the Supreme Court of India to speedily resolve issues between people   would be further strengthened and there is a plan to adopt the concept of Community Mediation Centres by next year so that the burden of pending cases could be reduced in the courts.

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The conference was inaugurated and stated by Mr. Justice Madan B. Lokur, Judge Supreme Court of India and Member, MCPC.

He also released a Video CD of documentary entitled as “Aao Rah Aasan Kare” on mediation. It has been got prepared by Mediation Committee of Punjab and Haryana High Court to popularize the concept of mediation.

He said that cases were being resolved through Lok Adalats, but due to increasing number of pending cases, it is necessary to adopt the alternate method of justice. He said that mediation is one solution to problems like number of pending cases and   the idea is to provide justice to the people speedily and making it affordable. He said that we need to aggressively promote mediation as it is the best method to resolve cases.

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Mr. Lokur said that we expect to effectively introduce mediation system in states by the end of March next year and appropriate number of mediators would be provided to them so as to ensure affordable justice to people at the earliest. He said that the Committee is also looking forward to provide facility of mediation through academies and to train more mediators. He said that MCPC has recommended that minimum fee should be paid to mediators in various cases which could be increased by the states. He said that Community Mediation Centres (CMCs) have been set up in nine districts of Delhi which are doing well.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Judge Supreme Court of India said that mediation is effective and it is accepted by all. This conference is intended to review working of the mediation and sharing of experiences. He said that the concept of mediation has been copied from other countries, but this concept has always been there even during the times of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Talking about the challenges being faced, he said that attitude of parties is one thing which is important in resolving any issue. He said that in order to extend mediation to the lowest level and provide facility of mediation at every level, we can seek help of local people, especially the retired persons and third party intervention.

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Expressing his views on mediation, Mr. Justice S. J. Vazifdar, Acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court said that it is a qualitative approach for early disposal and reducing burden on courts. He said that the concept of mediation was first introduced in 2003-04 in India and people were sceptic to it, but over the years it has changed views of people. He said that mediation works effectively in cases of family disputes, marriage disputes arising due to ego and differences of perception. Also, it can work in high stake commercial litigation, he added.

Mr. Justice S.K. Mittal, Executive Chairman, Haryana State Legal Services Authority said that mediation has emerged as a medium mechanism. He said that there are Mediation Centres in all 21 districts of Haryana. He further added Haryana has 531 trained mediators, 146 advocates, 336 Judicial Officers and 93 retired judicial officers. As many as 35,939 cases were received for mediation out of which 9805 cases were settled. Similarly, 2087 cases have so far been referred out of which 402 have been settled. He said that 94 awareness programmes would be organized from August to December 2015 throughout the state.

Mr. Justice, S.S. Saron, Executive Chairman, Punjab Legal Services Authority and Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta, Executive Chairman, State Legal Services Authority, UT, Chandigarh also presented their views on mediation whereas Mr. Justice Mahesh Grover, Chairman, Mediation Centre, Punjab and Haryana High Court presented the welcome address.

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Judges from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and their representatives were also present on this occasion.

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