Government mulls new law on out-of-court settlements to ease load on judiciary

New Delhi: The government is considering a new law on voluntary out-of-court settlements to ease the massive load of cases on the judiciary.

At a recent meeting of a task force on improving India's ranking in the World Bank report on 'Ease of doing business', representatives of the Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law and Justice were asked "to take necessary steps to introduce a stand-alone law to regulate pre-litigation voluntary mediation."

The task force's meeting — the second so far — discussed the need for legislation on mediation on the lines of a similar law in Singapore.

Representational image. Getty Images

Representational image. Getty Images

According to the minutes of the 18 April meeting, it was observed that the World Bank report mentioned financial incentives for those opting for mediation, such as refund of court fees and other benefits such as rebates in income tax.

The law secretary of the Delhi government informed the task force that pre-litigation mediation centres had been established to handle petty cases such as neighbourhood and family disputes. Of the 47,000 cases referred to the centres, 17,000 were settled at the pre-litigation stage through mediation.

As of now, the mediation process is mostly used to settle marital disputes, but the new legislation could encourage settlements in areas such as landlord-tenant and industrial disputes which form a major chunk of litigation.

In February 2016, the law ministry had mooted a note on similar lines, backing a new law on mediation.

"There is no legislation to back the mediation process in the country...the lack of any statutory backing to the mediation process is a cause of concern/apprehension in the minds of the parties regarding the validity/enforceability of the outcome of mediation. Therefore, some parties may prefer the lawyer-dominated, formal judicial process," it said.

Out-of-court litigation is expected to help reduce the burden on courts in a country where over 3 crore cases are pending.


Updated Date: Jun 01, 2017 17:11 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See