Nagpur : In today’s situation of rushing to courts for justice in every possible dispute and subsequent number of pending cases in lakhs and the enormous time consumed in disposing of cases, the role of Mediation Clinic assumes graet significance. In Mediation Clinic, focus is given on the future, not the past. The Mediator does not concern himself with proofs or witnesses, rights or wrongs. The Mediator generates options for the disputing parties concerned, which is beneficial for both, in many ways.
Keeping in mind the interest of thousands of citizens, Nagpur Today interacted with the Trained Judge Mediator, Secretary of District Legal Services Authority and In-charge Judge of District Mediation Centre, Kishore Jaiswal. Jaiswal shared the finer points of Mediation and stressed upon the awareness programme for benefit of all. Following are excerpts:
What is District Legal Services Authority?
The District Legal Services Authority is a statutory body created under the Legal Services Authority Act 1987. Principal District Judge and Senior Civil Judge are Chairman and Secretary respectively while District Collector, Commissioner of Police (City), Superintendent of Police (Rural), Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chief Executive Officer are its ex- officio members of District Legal Services Authority. Six other members are nominated by Government.
When was the Mediation Centre set up and what is its current status?
The work of the Mediation Centre commenced when it was set up in the premises of District Court on February 21, 2009 with an aim to settle pending cases in the courts. The Centre has received good response. Until August 2014, 5,256 cases got settled. There are 76 Judges in the District who have been trained as Judge Mediators in the mediation centre in Nagpur. 16 are working at the taluka-level. Moreover, 75 lawyers, 5 retired District Judges and 3 retired Judges, 2 Trained Mediators other than legal practitioners have also been trained as Mediator.
What were the factors that led to creation of the Mediation Clinic?
The Mediation Centres and Mediation Clinic are run on a day to day basis. Moreover, participant can participate personally. Any expert of the concerned field can act as Mediator in case of technical issue.
How is a Mediation Clinic different from a Mediation Centre?
The cases pending with the Courts are heard at the Mediation Centre to negotiate and compromise between two parties. On the other hand, at a Mediation Clinic, pre-litigative disputes are heard and can settle his or her disputes through compromise without approaching court.
What has been the response to the Mediation Clinic?
The Mediation Clinic started functioning since January 19, 2013. So far, we have received 416 matters, out of them 45 matters are settled at pre-litigative stage itself giving finality. People are still unaware about the Mediation Clinic. We expect good response to Mediation Clinic in near future.
What has been your experience in handling cases through the Mediation Centre?
The experience at the Mediation Centre has been very good. Earlier, people did not know about the Mediation Centre, the awareness of which is increasing gradually. Earlier, there were very few lawyers at the Mediation Centre, but their participation has also increased. Presently, the success ratio of settlement has reached to 71 percent.
Which categories of cases are being handled at the Mediation Centre the most?
The maximum cases coming to the Mediation Centre pertain to cheque bouncing, matrimonial disputes and cases under domestic violence.
By Shipra Jha