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Role of Judiciary in promoting ADR in India

Though there are various laws in India, there are some laws that the judiciary should promote for citizens’ better functioning. Due to the absence of such required laws, the cases don’t get resolved sooner. It is very well known that even though the victims die several years ago, they have not punished the criminal yet. This is how more criminals get the courage to keep doing crimes. They are very well aware that nothing will happen to them for several years. If we get a chance, it is important to understand the need for ADR in India and how it will speed up the process. 

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Role of Judiciary in ADR
What is ADR?

ADR is also known as alternative dispute resolution or external dispute resolution. It is the process for the parties that don’t agree with each other. This resolution provides them with other options to come to an agreement. These processes include neutral evaluation, mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law. These processes are much better than the conventional methods of courts. They are more time-saving and time-consuming than conventional court methods. They are also informal and hence require fewer processes and formalities for the families to do. As we all want lower levels of stress, every Indian feels the need for ADR in India. These methods bring about higher satisfaction, better relations, and long-term results and are confidential too. 

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Origin of ADR in India 

They made these strategies on similar lines in the USA, United Kingdom, France, Canada, China, Japan, South Africa, Australia, and Singapore. ADR has made a tremendous improvement in these countries and has not recently reduced cost and time taken for resolution of contentions, yet additionally in providing an agreeable atmosphere and a less formal and less puzzling conversation for various kinds of contentions. The Arbitration Act, 1940 was not fulfilling the needs of either the international or nearby standards of settling disputes. Tremendous deferrals and court mediation frustrated the very aim behind discretion as a path for fast resolution of disputes. Exchange and industry likewise demanded intense alterations inside the 1940 Act. The Legislature of India figured it significant to offer another gathering and technique for settling international and private disputes quickly.

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Judicial role in promotion of ADR

The initial step in the advent of ADR mechanisms in India was way back in 1940 when the law passed the first Arbitration Act but due to its inadequacy and loop-holes, it was never fully implemented. Many years later in 1996, The Arbitration and Conciliation Act was passed which had its basis on the UNCITRAL[2] model, Section 30[3] of which encourages arbitrators, with the agreement of the parties, to use mediation, conciliation, or other procedures at any time during the arbitration proceedings to encourage settlement. The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 made the establishment of the Lok Adalat System for settlement of disputes cheaply. Further, Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908[4]which has its basis on the recommendations made by the Law Commission of India and Malimath Committee made it obligatory for the Court to refer the dispute after issues are framed for settlement with the concurrence of the parties by any ADR mechanism. 

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Issues in ADR mechanism in India

There are some issues with the ADR mechanism in India. Generally, arbitrators can only resolve disputes that involve money. They cannot issue orders requiring one party to do something or refrain from doing something. They cannot change the title to the property, either. Also, some of the safeguards designed to protect parties in court may not be present in ADR. Also, other issues in the ADR mechanism in India include a limited opportunity for judicial review of an arbitrator’s decision. While a large arbitration service could, if it so chose, have some kind of process for internal appeals, the decision is usually final and binding, and can only be reviewed by a court in limited cases. This generally happens when the lawyers find the original arbitration agreement to be invalid. Because both parties must voluntarily agree to arbitration, if the lawyers obtain the consent of one party by fraud or force, they cannot enforce it. 

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Need of ADR in India

To deal with the situation of pendency of cases in the courts of India, ADR plays a significant role in India by its diverse techniques. Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism provides scientifically developed techniques to the Indian judiciary which helps in reducing the burden on the courts. ADR provides various modes of settlement including, arbitration, conciliation, mediation, negotiation, and Lok Adalat. Here, negotiation means self-counseling between the parties to resolve their dispute but it doesn’t have any statutory recognition in India. In a developing nation like India with major economic reforms underway within the framework of the rule of law, tactics for swifter resolution of disputes for lessening the burden on the courts, and to give means for expeditious resolution of disputes, ADR is best for establishing facilities for giving settlement of disputes through arbitration, conciliation, mediation, and negotiation. Thus, there is an immense need for ADR in India.  

Thus, Alternative dispute resolution methods are perfect for being settled, under law, by arrangement between the gatherings. The use of Alternative dispute redressal strategies is in a few classifications of disputes, principally respectful, business, mechanical, and family clashes. Considering different reports, experts discovered that alternative dispute redressal strategies provide the best arrangement in regard of business disputes. The objective of other dispute redressal respected in the Indian Constitution’s introduction itself, which restricts the State: “to secure to all the citizens of India, justice-social, economic and political-liberty, equality, and fraternity”.

by Pranav Haldar

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