Alternative Dispute Resolution is the process of resolution of disputes outside Courts to avoid problems of litigation.
1. Legal Service Authority Act
The Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 aims at providing free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society by creating competent authorities. and organising Lok Adalats to promote justice.
The competent authorities under the Act are the following:-
- National Legal Services Authority
- State Legal Services Authority
- District Legal Services Authority
- Supreme Court Legal Services Committee 5. High Court Legal Services Committee
- District Level Legal Services Committee
- Taluk Level Legal Services Committee
The above authorities are empowered to organise Lok Adalats to decide and bring compromise or settlement between the parties belonging to weaker section of the society.
2. Arbitration and Conciliation Act
The law relating to Arbitration and Conciliation is provided in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
Arbitration is the reference of a dispute by the voluntary consent of parties, to the decision of another called the Arbitrator, as an alternative dispute resolution process.
Arbitration agreement means an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship and to be bound by its award. The object of arbitration is the disposition of the dispute in a speedy and inexpensive manner. In contracts, it is usual to include an Arbitration Clause to settle any dispute that may arise with regard to the rights duties and liabilities of the parties. The Arbitrator is the person acting as judge, whom the parties choose. He has to perform his functions as an impartial judge, to dispense equal justice to the parties.
Conciliation is bringing of opposing parties into harmony.
The parties may agree and appoint a sole Conciliator, or two Conciliators (when each party may appoint one Conciliator) to act jointly. When there are two Conciliators the parties may agree on the name of a third Conciliator who shall act as the presiding conciliator. The party initiating conciliation shall send to the other party, a written invitation for conciliation. The parties submit statements of their dispute and points of issue to the Conciliator. The Conciliator shall assist the parties in an independent and impartial manner in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement. Each party submits suggestions to the settlement of the dispute. The Conciliator shall formulate the terms of settlement and if the parties agree, they may, if necessary, with the assistance of the Conciliator, draw up and sign a written settlement agreement. The Conciliator shall authenticate the settlement agreement and it shall have the effect of an arbitral award and is binding upon the parties and persons claiming under them.
Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides for settlement of disputes outside the Court.
“Where it appears to the Court that there exists elements of a settlement which may be acceptable to the parties, the Court shall formulate the terms of settlement and give them to the parties for their observations and after receiving the observations of the parties, the Court may reformulate the terms of a possible settlement and refer the same for:-
(c) Judicial settlement including settlement through Lok Adalat; or
Reference – An introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution System by Dr. Anupam Kurlwal.
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