CJ For Strengthening Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanism

SRINAGAR — Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal on Friday stressed the need for strengthening and encouraging the alternate dispute resolution through arbitration and mediation. She said there is an imperative need to establish a fast track resolution of disputes and to encourage arbitration in the state so that a robust system of alternate dispute resolution is put in place.

The Chief Justice was speaking during the inaugural session of the 3-day State-level intensive Mediation Workshop organized by the Mediation and Conciliation Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and supported by Jammu and Kashmir Government at SKICC here today.

“Mediation has become a real game changer, not in the context of addressing judicial disposals but as an alternative dispute redressal mechanism and an essential part of every person’s life. Mediation plays critical role in delivering timely justice to the people and has become an integral part of daily functioning and critical part of dispute resolution in very important areas, including commercial disputes or family disputes”, said Justice Mittal.

The Chief Justice further said that mediation as an alternative justice delivery system was introduced in the state only 10 years ago and more tangible efforts are needed to popularize it among the masses so that people make its optimum use. Organizing such an extensive training workshop is also aimed at to institutionalize the system of mediation in the State and creating a permanent mechanism to improve and promote timely justice to the people, she said.

Justice Gita Mittal said the Lawyers were having difficulties while responding to the path of mediation because rules do not postulate payments for lawyers. She said there are several areas where rules need to be relooked not only because of nature of litigation which has come to courts, but also the nature of problems which the state is facing. She said mediation evolved just a decade ago and much needs to be done especially, with regard to the magnitude and the level of expertise which has been attained by the mediation centres in other parts of the country.

She lauded the efforts of Mediation Centre for bringing the experts from across the globe to train the lawyers and judges in the State in mediation skills. She said the occasion will help participants to hone their skill in mediation, especially in working with sprit of harmony.

Justice TashiRabstan, Chairman Mediation and Conciliation Committee, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in his address said that after the introduction of Mediation as an alternative system of justice in 2009, the same has been institutionalized as per the guidelines laid down by the Mediation Conciliation Project Committee of Supreme Court of India.

Giving status of the functioning of the Mediation Centres in the State, Justice Rabstan said that till date, eight Mediation Centres have been made functional across the State, while land for six districts is yet to be identified. He said work on eight Mediation Centres in eight other districts of the state is in progress. He said establishing mediation as an alternative system of justice is aiming at ensuring excess to justice for all by providing opportunity to litigants to settle their disputes through mediation and conciliation. “This training workshop will give us the best human resource to make the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centres fully functional in the state.

Justice Alok Aradhe, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Justice DS Thakur, Justice Sanjeev Kumar, Justice MK Hanjura,Justice Sindhu Sharma, Justice Rashid Ali Dar, Advocate General, DC Raina, Registrar General, J&K High Court, Sanjay Dhar, Registrar Vigilance, Puneet Gupta, Principal Secretary to Chief Justice, Jawad Ahmad, Former Chief Justice BA Khan, Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi, Justice (retd) Bashir Ahmad Kirmani, Justice (Retd) Sunil Hali, Law Secretary, Abdul Majeed Bhat judicial officers, President JK Bar Association Jammu, BS Salathia, advocates, senior officers of law department, Law students from across the state were also present on the occasion.

Abdul Rashid Malik, Director JK State Judicial Academy conducted the proceedings of the inaugural session and introduced the subject to the audience.

Judges, Resource Persons, Judicial Officers and Lawyers from the State and outside participated in the workshop and shared their views and experiences on the issues related to the Mediation system in the country.

The first session for Judges was chaired by Justice Alok Aradhe while Resource persons Shailender Kour, Judge-In-charge, Delhi Mediation Centre and Sudhanshu Batra, Sr. Advocate delivered their lectures on the topics like ADR mechanism U/S 89 CPC – Distinct Features, arbitration, Conciliation, Lok Adalat, Mediation and Judicial Settlements.

The first session for Lawyers was chaired by Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while Dharmesh Sharma, Principal Judge, Family Court, J.P. Singh, Senior Advocate, Veena Ralli, advocate were the Resource Persons and delivered their extensive lectures.

The second session for Judges was chaired by Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while Shailender Kour, Judge-in-charge, Delhi Mediation Centre was the Resource Person, who delivered her extensive lecture on the topics, Conflict, Conflict Ladder, Conflict Core, Conflict Tri-angel and Negative & Positive Cycle.

The second session for Lawyers was chaired by Justice AlokeAradhe, whereas the resource persons Sadhana Ramachandran, Advocate and Sudanshu Batra, senior advocate deliberated on various ways of conflict resolution.

For the judges, the third session was chaired by Justice TashiRabstan while resource persons- Sudhanshu Batra and Veena Bansal deliberated on the elements of negotiation, barriers and styles of negotiation.

The third interactive session for lawyers was chaired by Justice MK Hanjura while resource persons- senior advocate JP Singh and advocate Sadhana Ramachandran deliberated on similar topics.

The experts shared their experiences and ideas on the issues with the participants and also responded to the queries of the participants.

All the speakers dwelt on the issues related to strengthening the mechanism of Mediation and Reconciliation for speedy disposal of multifarious disputes amicably by the parties. They advocated that Mediation provides appropriate opportunities to both the parties in a very cordial atmosphere and they are convinced by the expert lawyers and judges. This mechanism has helped substantially to resolve the varied cases out of the Courts during the recent years. The system also saves lot of precious times and money of both the parties, thus need to be promoted at the broader level, said the experts.

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