Delhi Mediation Centre
The Delhi Mediation Centre, comprising of 2 centers housed in the Tis Hazari Courts Complex and the Karkardooma Courts Complex were established in 2005. A pilot project was carried out to give effect to the amendment on section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act 1999, which brought about the implementation of “Judicial Mediation”1 in the District Courts in New Delhi, India, and now has been institutionalized as a permanent unique mode of legislated Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR).
The Delhi Mediation Centre has developed a unique method of alternative dispute resolution which can best be described as 'judicial mediation'. This form of dispute resolution was initiated by a Committee appointed by the Chief Justice of India consisting of Judges of the Supreme Court, High Court Judges, Senior Advocates and judicial officers as being best suited to the needs of litigants in India and in consonance with the social ethos of the country.
Terms of Mediation2
Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act 1999 which came into effect on 1st July 2002 provides for the formulation of the terms of settlement by the Court and reformulating the same, if necessary, where it appears to the Court that there exists an element of settlement, which may be acceptable to the parties and a reference by the Court, inter alia to Mediation.
On the conclusion of a successful mediation, followed by a decree, the plaintiff is entitled to (and is given) a full refund of court fees.
Legal System of India
India's independent judicial system began under the British, and its concepts and procedures resemble those of other Commonwealth countries. The Supreme Court of India consists of a Chief Justice and 25 associate justices, all appointed by the President on the advice of the Chief Justice of India.
The Indian justice system is made up of a unitary system at both state and federal level. The judiciary consists of the Supreme Court of India, High Courts at the state level, and District and Session Courts at the district level.3
Attitudes towards Mediation
The concept of mediation is ancient and has always been enshrined in the Indian culture. It can be traced to ancient Indian texts such as “Kautilya’s Arthshashtra”. Through the Panchayat system and eventually shaped to deal with legal disputes by the Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi as described in his autobiography which provided the real essence of mediation.4
The effective participation of lawyers in the Pilot Mediation Programme helped to dispel all doubts, if any, that the mediation process would adversely affect the advocates in their professional activities, in any manner. Rather, the advent of the judicial mediation in the legal system gave a new professional opportunity for the lawyers, as mediated case settlement in a legal system opens doors to many litigants who were previously intimidated by the formal legal system. It was realized that in judicial mediation advocates play a different and important role in the process in that they always represent the client’s interests, rather than argue adversarially as they would in Court, they assist their clients by helping them propose and consider settlement options in the light of the client’s long term best interest.5
For more information on the Delhi Mediation Centre, see their website at http://delhimediationcentre.gov.in/.
1 Delhi Mediation Centre Annual Report 2005-2006 – Mediation – Institutionalized (page 8) found on Delhi
Mediation Centre website.
2 From the Website of Delhi Mediation Centre.
3 India Finance & Investment Guide
4 Delhi Mediation Centre Annual Report 2006-2007-Institutionalized Mediation in the Judicial System:
Introduction (page 7) found on Delhi Mediation Centre website.
5 Delhi Mediation Centre Annual Report 2006-2007 –Training Judicial Officers (page 11 & 12) found on Delhi
Mediation Centre website.