the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in harmony with the UNCITRAL Model. Mediation and Arbitration are different techniques of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR technique is alternative to litigation or a conventional method.
The reason for such rise of alternative mechanism of resolving disputes is basically because of pendency of huge number of cases in several courts across India. Mediation and Arbitration Centres facilitates the parties to settle their conflicts in amicable and peaceful manner reducing the chances of hostility. Section 89 of Code of Civil Procedure also provides for settlement of dispute outside the court through ADR.
As a result of growing popularity of Alternative Dispute Resolution, several International Arbitration Centres have been set up in India including LSIA etc.
Based on their characteristics, ADR techniques are classified into–Arbitration, Conciliation, Mediation and Negotiation. Arbitration is more formal among the four techniques. It is a process which requires arbitration agreement between the two disputing parties, thereafter a sole Arbitrator or a panel of Arbitrators is appointed. The Arbitrator is bound to act impartial and award given by him is legally binding on the parties. Mediation is less formal process where assistance is provided to the disputing parties to reach a negotiated settlement. This process of dispute resolution has been more popular and adopted in various fields such as legal, commercial, matrimonial and diplomatic etc.
Mediators are appointed to assist parties to settle the dispute but do not get the power to adjudicate or impose award. Conciliation is the process which does not require any agreement and also the conciliator’s participation is involved while the discussion goes on between the parties. Parties are set free to evolve their own ways for conciliation. Negotiation is the simplest way of dispute resolution where settlement takes place between parties by exchange of views and issues concerned. There is no involvement of third party.
There are various advantages of ADR techniques such as; speedy redressal, less expensive, flexible process, multi-party disputes can be settled, practical solution and confidential. There are certain disadvantages also when compared to litigations such as lack of precedents, court order interim order, power imbalance between parties etc.
Lok Adalat in simple words means people’s court. The Lok Adalats come under the come under the purview of non-adversarial system by which mock courts are held by different Legal Services Authorities from different jurisdictions. The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 provides for establishment of Lok Adalats for less epensive and speedy redress of disputes. In ancient India, disputes were resolved through mediation of village elders. They are improvement on the same. Their decisions are binding on the parties to the dispute and no appeal lies against the orders made by them.
List of Meditation and Arbitration Centres in India
There is a huge list of Meditation and Arbitration Centres in India. We have provided a searchable directory of Mediation and Arbitration Centres in India.