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The Mediation Bill, 2021

Mediation Bill-Ekam IAS
UPSC Current Affairs

The Mediation Bill, 2021

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice has recommended substantial changes to the Mediation Bill.
  • Alternate dispute resolution (ADR) refers to means by which disputes are settled outside the traditional court system.
  • In India, modes of ADR include arbitration, negotiation, mediation, and Lok Adalats.
Mediation
  • It is a voluntary process in which parties try to settle disputes with the assistance of an independent third person (the mediator).
  • A mediator does not impose a solution on the parties but creates a conducive environment in which they can resolve their dispute.
  • The mediation process depends on the choice of parties, and there are no strict or binding rules of procedure.
  • Benefits of mediation include its voluntary and non-adversarial nature, the flexibility and confidentiality of the process, its speed and cost effectiveness, and the finality of consensual settlements.
  • As a mode of ADR, mediation may also help reduce the case burden on courts.
Highlights of the Bill:
  • The Bill requires persons to try to settle civil or commercial disputes through mediation before approaching any court or tribunal.
  • A party may withdraw from mediation after two mediation sessions.
  • The mediation process must be completed within 180 days, which may be extended by another 180 days by the parties.
  • The Mediation Council of India will be set up.
  • Its functions include registering mediators, and recognising mediation service providers and mediation institutes (which train and certify mediators).
  • The Bill lists disputes that are not fit for mediation (such as those involving criminal prosecution, or affecting the rights of third parties). The central government may amend this list.
  • If the parties agree, they may appoint any person as a
  • If not, they may apply to a mediation service provider to appoint a person from its panel of mediators.
  • Agreements resulting from mediation will be binding and enforceable in the same manner as court judgments.
At present, mediation in India may be:
  • court referred (courts may refer cases to mediation under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908)
  • private (for instance, under a contract having a mediation clause)
  • under a specific statute (such as the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, or the Companies Act, 2013).

 

Model Question

Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. Arbitration, negotiation, mediation, and Lok Adalats are the modes of Alternate Dispute Resolution in India.
  2. In India, mediation is mandatory for civil cases.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : A


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