Mediation: Remedy for family conflicts

We know India is one of the most populated countries around the globe, a secular nation having people with different caste, creed and religion living together. Any place where too many people with different cultures and traditions exist together, it is obvious to have conflicts there in such societies. Everyone seeks to be heard and if a wrong has been done to one then they would strive for justice in due time and in some cases at immediate hours as well. Unfortunately, due to lack of facilities and bare opportunities not everyone is served with justice at a reasonable time. Even the courts are overburdened with numerous cases and lists of pending cases.

Therefore, to provide quick redressal and to deal effectively with the issues, ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) is one of the means provided for the disposal of disputes. Mediation is a part of ADR which is an equitable procedure to settle a dispute between the two parties. The third party who solves the dispute known as the mediator is decided with an agreement or consent of both the parties. Mediation is a process which needs to be widespread in our country. Thus, instead of adding the cases into the pre-existing pending list most of the issues can be resolved through the process of mediation.

Mediation often involves resolving cases that are not criminal in nature although some mollifying criminal cases that include verbal harassment, seldom receive triumph resolution through mediation. The types of cases that can be mediated are usually conflicts of divorce and child custody, issues between family members and neighbors, landlord and tenants, business partners, labour union and management. Mediation is obligatory in cases that are concerned with child custody issues and discord between neighbors.

People are often in cynicism regarding the possibility of mediation to solve serious family issues. For a matter of fact mediation has unexpectedly resolved many dreadful family controversies. These controversies encompass troubles of a family having problems with their parents and children, grudges between siblings, grievance related to distribution of property and other pessimistic relations between family members. For a mediation to be fortuitous, certain prior preconditions should be there, only then it can bring a sanguine change. Where there arises conflicts between teenagers and their parents, instead of sending the child to the court system to control the teen the mediation method can also be applied to resolve the issue in a peacemaking consultative way.

As it is known since ages that family is a union that not only supports emotionally but also takes care of each other during hardship. It is depressing to see that due to various factors disputes between the family members itself has multiplied rapidly in numbers in our country. Complications related to psychological imbalance that are slowly vandalizing families need to be settled or reconciled soon. It is through mediation that we can gracefully prevent fragile strings of families being torn apart. The process of mediation (reconciliation) has many advantageous sides such as it is impartial and is mostly concerned with the affair along with its fair and independent nature. With the rapid growth of family disputes since decades, mediation has been advised by the adversarial court system to be replaced with this phenomenon. Though it is an informal method still it is considered to be a way better service for families where disputes need to be disposed of or solved post-haste.

In India family is generally considered the central strength of a person. Thus, a dispute hinders the strength into weakness. Fortunately, through mediation and reconciliation the strength is restored by settling matters between the parties after both sides are being heard and a fair decision being made to satisfy both. In litigation usually either of parties blames each other that eventually grows resentment between them. Only one party triumphs in the argument and the other remains pique, this situation is not similar in mediation as it incorporates the principle of Modus Vivendi i.e., an agreement which allows the conflicting parties to coexist peacefully until a final decision is raised.

The Family Courts Act, 1984, Civil Procedure Code, Hindu Marriage Act and even the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 promotes mediation as a prior and predominant remedy to solve family disputes. As per the Hindu marriage Act, 1955 section 23(2) states the provision according to which before giving any judgment to bring relief the court must opt for reconciliation as the first option for seeking remedy. According to section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Act, 1999, it has been clearly declared that it is the responsibility of the court to identify cases that can be disposed off by compromise & reconciliation, the language of the section makes clear that mediation is mandatory for disputes that can be dealt with or fixed by this process itself rapidly at reasonable cost.
It should be made a compulsory thing for the purpose and feasibility of most cases to let local mediators solve family disputes as they can settle down issues better than a stranger. Although providing such a situation too shall be with full consensus ad idem. With mediation slowly being more popular, people can realize its benefits. Thus, it is our responsibility to encourage it more so that not just lawyers and educated people but also common people will understand it’s urgency and opt for it. With the rise of awareness of mediation it will be helpful for the nation to dispose of pending cases and render speedy trials for the upcoming cases so that instead of adding another stack of pending case lists it will actually be solved then and there promptly.

Aishwarya Says:

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