ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE REDRESSAL

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the procedure for settling disputes without litigation, such as arbitration, mediation, or negotiation. ADR procedures are usually less costly and more expeditious. They are increasingly being utilized in disputes that would otherwise result in litigation, including high-profile labour disputes, divorce actions, and personal injury claims.

One of the primary reasons parties may prefer ADR proceedings is that, unlike adversarial litigation, ADR procedures are often collaborative and allow the parties to understand each other’s positions. ADR also allows the parties to come up with more creative solutions that a court may not be legally allowed to impose.

ADR in India:

The Legal Services Authorities Act was passed in 1987 to encourage out-of-court settlements, and the new Arbitration and Conciliation Act was enacted in 1996.

Procedure for plea-bargaining was included in the Code of Criminal Procedure in 2005. {Plea-bargaining is best described as a “pre-trial negotiation between the accused and the prosecution during which the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for certain concessions by the prosecution.”} Lok Adalat or “people’s court” comprises an informal setting which facilitates negotiations in the presence of a judicial officer wherein cases are dispensed without undue emphasis on legal technicalities. The order of the Lok Adalat is final and binding on the parties, and is not appealable in a court of law. To deal with the situation of pendency of cases in courts of India, ADR plays a significant role in India by its diverse techniques. Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism provides scientifically developed techniques to Indian judiciary which helps in reducing the burden on the courts. ADR provides various modes of settlement including, arbitration, conciliation, mediation, negotiation and Lok Adalat. Here, negotiation means self-counselling between the parties to resolve their dispute but it doesn’t have any statutory recognition in India. ADR is also founded on such fundamental rights, article 14 and 21 which deals with equality before law and right to life and personal liberty respectively. ADR motive is to provide social-economic and political justice and maintain integrity in the society enshrined in the preamble. ADR also strive to achieve equal justice and free legal aid provided under Article 39-A relating to Directive Principle of State Policy (DPSP). ADR has proven successful in clearing the backlog of cases in various levels of the judiciary.

Lok Adalats alone have disposed more than 50 lakh cases every year on average in the last three years. But there seems to be a lack of awareness about the availability of these mechanisms.

The National and State Legal Services Authorities should disseminate more information regarding these, so they become the first option explored by potential litigants.

ADR is typically cheaper and faster than entering into litigation and resorting to the courts. As long as communication has not irretrievably broken down between the parties at dispute, it should be considered as a more efficient method of achieving an outcome. It is also helpful in terms of maintaining a degree of privacy compared to the more public nature of court proceedings. Arbitration is an increasingly attractive option for businesses as it enables any matters to be kept confidential which preserves the reputation of the individuals or businesses involved.

ADR methods such as Arbitration, Conciliation, Mediation, Lok Adalats can be effective solution to reduce pendency of cases pertaining to civil, commercial, industrial, family, consumer disputes etc. ADR procedures have advantage of being cheaper, faster, more flexible & preserving business and personal relationships. However there are limitations pertaining to enforceability of awards, judicial review, domestic policy considerations and lack of awareness which raise questions on the effectiveness of ADR.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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