Conciliation and MediationConsent of warring parties not essential: HCSaurabh MalikTribune News Service

Now, sitting face to face with your adversaries for resolving family disputes is not a matter of choice. In a significant ruling, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the consent of warring parties is not essential for referring a dispute for conciliation and mediation.
The High Court believes it will not only bring one closer to resolution of a dispute, but will also help the courts part ways with the problem of pendency of cases.
The ruling, by Justice Ranjit Singh of the High Court, is the first of its kind ever since conciliation and mediation was given statutory recognition by introduction of certain provisions in the Code of Civil Procedure.
Drawing a clear distinction between arbitration, judicial settlement and conciliation, Justice Ranjit Singh has held the consent of all parties to litigation is a pre-requisite for referring a matter for settlement through arbitration and judicial settlement.
“Though conciliation and mediation are also generally on the basis of consent, still the court would have an option to choose this alternative mode of settlement of disputes even if one or some of the parties to the dispute do not give their consent.”
Elaborating, Justice Ranjit Singh added that the consent of a party or all the parties to litigation would not be essential for the court to exercise its power, or perform its duty, to refer a case for conciliation or mediation.
The Judge further added that it was an alternative form of dispute settlement and required to be encouraged for lessening the burden on courts, “apart from achieving the objective of good and healthy relationship between the parties; and to end the bitter fight that generally ensues when the parties are litigating.”
In his detailed 19-page ruling on civil revision number 4350 of 2007, the Judge has also stressed upon the need for going in for such methods. “The litigant must realise the court process is time- consuming, costly, cumbersome; and it is advantageous to opt for this alternative mode now statutorily made available.
“It may relieve the tremendous burden on courts. It needs to be realised that conciliation and mediation or such like methods of resolving the disputes, especially in the family or localities or society, are well recognised in our country and the option of going to the court has always led to bitterness between the parties that are litigating.
“When the family can sit together and resolve their differences/disputes, it would certainly remove this bitterness, if any, in the relationship; and rather the relationship may be preserved for times to come. The court, as such, would wish that the mode is given a try and see if the bitter fight that is on in the family sees a turn around and may lead to healthy relations. The bitterness may to an extent lessen, if the family is able to sit together and talk to each other in the presence of a neutral conciliator or mediator,” the Judge has asserted.
Before parting with the judgement, Justice Ranjit Singh has held: “The factual information received by the conciliator is not to be disclosed to the other party. Conciliator shall keep confidential all matters relating to conciliation proceedings. It is also to be noted that conciliator is not to act as an arbitrator.”
Chandigarh, May 25
www.tribuneindia.com

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4 Responses

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    Ye Jeevan Hai Is Jeevan Ka Yahi hai Rang Roop

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