Discuss various methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution in India. What are the challenges faced by them? Suggest measures to increase their effectiveness.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is provided under Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is a procedure for settling disputes without getting into formal litigation.
It involves use of mechanisms such as –
- Arbitration – here dispute is submitted to an arbitral tribunal which makes a decision (an “award”)
- Mediation/Conciliation – here an impartial third party “mediator/ conciliator” help the parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution.
- Negotiation – here settlement to the dispute between parties is initiated without intervention of any third party.
- Lok Adalats – is a statutory body under Legal Services Authorities Act, where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled.
- Non-adversarial – parties cooperate together to reach the best resolution for everyone.
- Speedier, inexpensive and flexible process – helps fulfil mandate under Article 39-A of the Constitution.
- High level confidentiality – as resolution of disputes takes place usually in private.
- Reduces – judicial burden.
Challenges Associated –
- Outcomes of ADR can vary – Poor mediator/arbitrator can result in unsuccessful resolution.
- Precedents are not given much importance in ADR proceedings. Lack of awareness – ADR in India mostly caters to the commercial disputes.
- Delays due to absence of time lines.
Thus need is to –
- Establish Arbitration Council of India provided under Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 to frame rules on grading institutions, accreditation of arbitrators, quality and performance monitoring, and building capacity for arbitrators.
- Set up Lok Adalats across India.
- Enhance awareness among citizens – promote civilian dispute resolution.
These measures shall go a long way in strengthening arbitration within India and also help promote India as a global arbitration hub.