New Delhi, Nov 10: President Pranab Mukherjee today said there is a high degree of public frustration over protracted and expensive court litigation in the country and suggested that alternate dispute redressal mechanism like mediation should be used to provide speedy justice.
“It is important to recognise that despite the robust, independent and impartial judicial system we have in our country, the unfortunate reality is that legal disputes can be both protracted and expensive. There is a high degree of public frustration over the complexity of the laws, long delays and unproductive use of their resources in litigation,” the President said.
“Only if Alternative Dispute Resolution becomes an integral part of the Indian justice delivery system, we will be able to truly safeguard the welfare of the common man,” he added.
Speaking in a seminar on mediation in which Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and other judges from various courts too were present, President Mukherjee said it is not sufficient to popularise mediation only in cities, but awareness about it should be spread at the grass roots level also.
“Many social conflicts have also got transformed into legal disputes, which accentuates the problem rather than resolving them. Promotion and popularisation of alternate methods of dispute settlement is therefore the need of the hour.
“Alternate dispute resolution mechanisms do not only facilitate speedier justice but is also a process wherein the parties involved have control over the eventual outcome,” said Mukherjee, who was often described as one of the best mediators in the country.
The President said the people should be encouraged to take first recourse to mediation rather than litigation. “It is well known that mediation can play a very useful role in amicable resolution of matrimonial and family matters.
Disputes amongst Government departments and agencies are also perhaps best resolved through out of court mediation rather than litigation,” he said.
Chief Justice Kabir, also emphasised that mediation has now become more important as there has been increase in number of cases filed in the court and judge population ration has decreased.