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YBAI file Petition in the SC seeking Formulation of SOP mandating Pre-Litigation Mediation Across India

By Shreedhara Purohit      18 July, 2020 04:47 PM      0 Comments
YBAI file Petition in the SC seeking Formulation of SOP mandating Pre-Litigation Mediation Across India

The Youth Bar Association of India has filed a PIL in the Apex Court seeking guidelines for mandating pre-litigation mediation across India. With the objective to deal with the issue of rising no. of cases and pendency of cases, the petition seeks for the formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure which would secure that parties compulsorily engage in mediation proceedings at a pre-litigation stage.

Expressing the worry over the increasing number of cases and pendency of such cases in the Indian Courts, the Association recommend the use of ADR in order to control the rate at which cases are piling up and by giving an opportunity to the parties to come together and settle their disputes during the pre-litigation stage.

As of 24th May 2020, a total number of 32.45 million cases are pending before the Courts in India. The Association emphasized the data which reveals that 71.06% of civil cases are pending in ‘Original Jurisdiction’ and approximately 24.3% cases are found to be pending at the ‘Admission’ stage.

The Association said that “pre-litigation mediation’ is an effective mode to settle the dispute amicably at a pre-litigation stage. The main objective is to facilitate out-of-court settlement through ADR. The Association also mentioned that out of the three main processes prescribed for ADR, pre-litigation mediation would serve the purpose best as it offers the highest degree of privacy as well as it is cost-effective. To minimize the number of pending cases, Govt. should introduce a pre-litigation mediation process to ensure that avoidable cases can be prevented from reaching the courts and settle the issue effectively.

Cases like K. Srinivas Rao vs D.A. Deepa (2013) were cited, wherein mediation centers pan India were directed to set up a pre-litigation facility in order to settle matrimonial disputes at pre-litigation stage. It is further observed that while the Supreme Court showed some predisposition towards setting up services for pre-litigation in matrimonial disputes, there exists no “overarching framework for these services”.

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