SC Judge to preside awareness program on Mediation in Sikkim

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Justice Swatanter Kumar to preside awareness prog on ‘Mediation- an effective tool in the ADR System’ in the capital

Gangtok, 25 May, 2012:

The Judge of Supreme Court of India, Justice Swatanter Kumar will be presiding over as the chief guest for the Awareness Programme on ‘Mediation- an effective tool in the ADR System’, being conducted by the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), Gangtok on May 25, 2012. Justice Kumar is also the member of the Mediation & Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC), New Delhi.

The said programme organized by the Sikkim SLSA will aware and encourage the people about mediation. The Sikkim SLSA informs that mediation is a voluntary, cooperative process in which an impartial and neutral mediator facilitates disputing parties in reaching a settlement. A mediator does not impose a solution but creates a conducive environment in which disputing parties can resolve all their disputes. Mediation is a tried and tested alternative method of dispute resolution which has already proved to be a great success in the cities of Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai.

Further, the Sikkim SLSA acquaints that mediation is a structured process where a neutral person uses specialized communication and negotiation techniques, a process of facilitating parties in resolving their disputes and also a settlement process whereby disputing parties arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement.

Mediation being an informal process does not have any strict or binding rules of procedure and is a completely confidential process. It enables disputing parties to interact even on a one- to- one basis. Since it is a voluntary process, it enables the parties to be the key players in the dispute settlement process and also lets the parties to settle their own terms and agreement. This is an inexpensive and speedy mode of dispute settlement which is interest based rather than rights based.

Likewise explaining about the mediation session, the Sikkim SLSA mentions that first is the introduction session during which the mediator introduces himself to the parties, explains the process and the ground rules. This is then followed by a joint session in which the mediator gathers all the information about the factual background and interests of the parties, establishes interaction between them and creates a suitable environment for an amicable settlement. After this is the individual / separate sessions where the disputing parties are allowed to explain their grievances and the mediator persuades individual parties to share confidential information and helps them to create options for an amicable settlement. Lastly, it is the agreement during which the mediator clarifies the terms of settlement and reduces the settlement into a clear complete, concise and binding agreement.

Notifying the benefits of mediation, the Sikkim SLSA says that foremostly it is a quick, responsive and economical method to settle disputes through harmonious settlement. As compared to litigation there is no loss of time in mediation and no financial investment is required. This is far more satisfactory way of resolving disputes as compared to litigation.

Lastly, mentioning about the Mediation & Conciliation Project Committee, the Sikkim SLSA informs that the project was set up by the Chief Justice of India in the year 2005 with an aim to encourage amicable resolution of disputes pending in the courts in accordance with Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure. MCPC has conducted awareness, referral judges’ training and mediation training programmes in about a dozen States and several cities all over the country. It also has services of about 50 expert trainers from Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai.

The programme will also have the presence of the Chief Justice of High Court of Sikkim cum the Patron- in- Chief, Sikkim SLSA, Justice Permod Kohli and Judge of High Court of Sikkim and also the Executive Chairman, Sikkim SLSA, Justice SP Wangdi as the guests of honour.

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