President highlights importance of mediation in judicial system

President Ram Nath Kovind. (File Photo/PIB)

Ekta Nagar (Gujarat): President Ram Nath Kovind on April 9, 2022, highlighted the importance of mediation in the judicial system.

He was speaking after inaugurating a two-day National Judicial Conference on Mediation and Information Technology, which is being organised by the High Court of Gujarat here.

The topics of the conference are: the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Judiciary.

 “Mediation aims to settle the dispute, not by any command or authority. Rather, it encourages the parties to arrive at the settlement by systematic mediation sittings by the mediator. The legislation also provides an incentive: if any pending litigation is settled by mediation, the entire court fees deposited by the litigant party are refunded. Thus, truly speaking, in mediation everyone is a winner,” President Kovind said.

The President pointed out that the concept of mediation is yet to find widespread acceptance across the country.

“Enough trained mediators are not available in some places. Infrastructural facilities at many mediation centres need upgradation. These bottlenecks have to be addressed at the earliest to help a wider population benefit from this effective tool. Moreover, all stakeholders should display a positive attitude towards mediation, if we want to achieve desired results,” the President added.

President Kovind also highlighted the importance of training saying that training can make a lot of difference and it can be provided at different levels, from introductory courses at the induction stage to refresher courses for mid-career professionals.

He noted that the Mediator and Conciliation Project Committee of the Supreme Court has been doing a great job by organising training programmes in the states.

Speaking about the second topic of the conference the President said that Information and Communication Technology helped in maintaining essential activities and in keeping the wheels of the economy moving during the pandemic.

Justice, too, was made possible with virtual hearings when physical gathering had to be avoided, President Kovind said.

The President noted that even before the pandemic, the justice delivery system had benefitted from the ICT to improve the quantity and quality of the services delivered to litigants and all stakeholders.

He said that under the leadership of the e-Committee formed in the Supreme Court and with the active assistance and resource support of the Department of Justice of the Government of India, two phases of the e-Courts project have been accomplished as per the policy and action plan approved and adopted for the respective phases.

As a result, there is smooth access to the statistics as published on the portal of the e-Courts, the President said.

Noting that there is a full working session devoted to the subject of ‘Future of Technology in the Judiciary’ in this conference, he said that among many objectives of the switch to ICT, the topmost has to be the improvement of access to justice. (Press Release)

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